Daimler raises profit margin forecast for Mercedes Benz

German auto giant Daimler (21.94, – 0.24, – 1.08%) on Friday raised its operating return forecast for its high-end brand Mercedes Benz this year as surging demand from China boosted the recovery after the new crown pandemic.

The company said it now expects Mercedes Benz’s operating rate of return this year to reach 10-12%, higher than its previous target of 8-10%.

Harald Wilhelm, Daimler’s chief financial officer, said: “after this promising start, we are very confident that we can maintain the pace of growth, improve profit margins in a sustainable way and expand the electric vehicle product line.” The company also said plans to break up the truck division were “well under way.”.

Daimler said on Friday that its adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 5 billion euros in the first quarter from 719 million euros in the same period last year, far better than market expectations.

“The strong sales momentum of Mercedes Benz, driven by all major regions, especially China, strongly supported the product mix and pricing in the first quarter of 2021,” the company said at the time.