Daimler CEO Is Optimistic About Reaching Profit Goal

October 12, 2016, 9:08 AM UTC
Dieter Zetsche, CEO of German auto giant Daimler AG, poses during the company's annual press conference in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on February 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS KIENZLE (Photo credit should read THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)
Thomas Kienzle — AFP/Getty Images

Daimler (DDAIF) expects to hit targets for a small increase in earnings this year, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said, counting on “profitable growth” at its flagship luxury cars division.

Daimler has forecast the group’s adjusted full-year operating profit (EBIT) to slightly beat 2015 levels, with higher earnings at Mercedes-Benz cars, vans and bus operations seen offsetting a decline in trucks.

Sales of Mercedes-Benz branded cars jumped 12% in September to 211,286 vehicles, the unit’s best-ever monthly result, with nine-month deliveries up by the same margin to a record 1.54 million.

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“We are on a very good track,” Zetsche told a gathering of reporters in Hamburg late on Tuesday. “I can confirm that our guidance is valid.”

Mercedes-Benz is “within reach” of its goal to become the leading premium automaker in terms of volume and profitability by 2020, Zetsche said, as the Stuttgart-based manufacturer looks set to outsell German rivals BMW and Audi this year.