Mercedes-Benz lifts revenue forecast as luxurious vehicles growth

By Victoria Waldersee

BERLIN (Reuters) -Mercedes-Benz raised its full-year revenue forecast on Wednesday as robust demand for luxurious vehicles and value financial savings offset the availability chain bottlenecks which have hampered business output this 12 months.

The German automaker mentioned it now anticipated group earnings to rise a minimum of 15% this 12 months, in contrast with a earlier forecast of 5%-15% progress, after earnings at its vehicles division virtually tripled within the third quarter from pre-pandemic ranges.

Pent-up demand in Europe and a excessive order backlog would carry the corporate into subsequent 12 months, chief monetary officer Harald Wilhelm mentioned, including it will prioritise bringing down stock within the fourth quarter. The corporate forecast a slight enhance in fourth-quarter gross sales from a 12 months earlier.

The marked enhance in profitability comes after Mercedes-Benz pledged in 2020 – then a part of Daimler Group – to chop mounted prices, capital expenditure and analysis and improvement spending by greater than 20% by 2025.

Inflation in its personal prices means it might must make extra cuts than deliberate to achieve that focus on, chief monetary officer Harald Wilhelm instructed a media name.

Requested how the carmaker would help suppliers that are fighting rising prices, Wilhelm mentioned negotiations have been happening on a case-by-case foundation however that this was “not an invite to ship us their payments”.

“Everybody must do their homework and adapt to rising uncertainty and the transformation [to electrification],” Wilhelm mentioned. “Whoever began too late with that now has an issue.”

The corporate has no intention to decrease checklist costs or step up discounting within the face of rising monetary stress on customers, he added, sticking to its technique of prioritising the posh standing of its autos over quantity gross sales.

The vehicles division earned 4.03 billion euros from 28.2 billion income within the third quarter, in contrast with 1.4 billion euros and 23.5 billion respectively in the identical quarter of 2019.

The corporate raised its full-year margin forecast for the vehicles division to 13-15% from 12-14%.

WITHDRAWAL FROM RUSSIA

Wilhelm additionally mentioned on an analysts’ name the group would withdraw from the Russian market and unload shares in its Russian subsidiaries – consisting of its business and monetary companies companies – to native traders.

The corporate had suspended exports of passenger vehicles and vans to Russia in addition to native manufacturing in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mercedes-Benz has a automotive plant within the city of Esipovo, 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Moscow, with over 1,000 workers that produces E-class sedans and SUVs.

“(The withdrawal) will not be anticipated to offer rise to any additional important results on the group’s profitability and monetary place past these reported in earlier quarters,” Wilhelm mentioned.

Group earnings reached 5.2 billion euros from July to September, up 83% from final 12 months, with income up by a fifth to 37.7 billion euros, adjusted returns of 14.5% for the vehicles division and 12.7% at Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Mercedes-Benz Vans noticed gross sales up by slightly below a fifth to 104,000 autos, with electrical van gross sales up by a 3rd this 12 months to date.

High-end luxurious gross sales lifted revenues, making up 15% of general vehicles gross sales within the third quarter.

($1 = 1.0047 euros)

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Enhancing by Shri Navaratnam and Mark Potter)

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