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Refreshed Mercedes-Benz posts strong results after truck split

FRANKFURT (AFP) – German auto manufacturer Mercedes-Benz more than doubled its operating profit despite widespread supply bottlenecks, the group said yesterday in its first set of annual results since splitting with its truck subsidiary.

Mercedes, which changed its name from Daimler at the beginning of the month, saw the key measure rise EUR19.2 billion from EUR8.6 billion in the previous year.

The adjusted figure did not include the one-off bump of EUR9.2 billion to Mercedes’s results from the spin-off of its subsidiary Daimler Trucks, which rolled onto the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at the end of last year.

Including the windfall, the group’s net profit increased almost six-fold to EUR23.4 billion from EUR4 billion in 2020, when the industry was battered by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The strong result came “even as the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor supply chain bottlenecks continued to affect the business”, Mercedes said in a statement.

Shortages of the key component, which has held back production in the industry, has weighed relatively less on luxury manufacturers like Mercedes.

The emphasis on high-end models saw the group’s adjusted margin on sales of cars and vans rise to 12.7 per cent from 6.9 per cent in 2020.

Notably, the average cost of a vehicle sold by Mercedes rose by 26 per cent in 2021.

The end of year results were “a strong demonstration of the potential of this brand”, Chief Executive Officer Ola Kaellenius said in a statement.

Employees carrying out inspections under the hoods of newly assembled Mercedes S-Class luxury combustion engine sedans on the final assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz AG Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany. PHOTO: AFP

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