Daimler AG (DDAIF.PK)

Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call

October 27, 2011 06:30 ET


Dr. Michael Mühlbayer – Head, Investor Relations and Treasury

Bodo Uebber – Chief Financial Officer


Stephen Reitman – Société Générale

Jochen Gehrke

Thierry Huon – Exane BNP Paribas

Kristina Church – Barclays Capital

Arndt Ellinghorst

Jose Asumendi – RBS

Fraser Hill – Bank of America

Philip Maloney

Adam Hull – WestLB

John Lawson – Citi

Horst Schneider – HSBC

Albrecht Denninghoff

Christian Breitsprecher – Macquarie



Welcome to the global conference call of Daimler. At our customer’s request, this conference will be recorded. The replay of the conference call will also be available as an on-demand audio webcast in the Investor Relations section of the Daimler website. The short introduction will be directly followed by a Q&A session. (Operator Instructions)

I would like to remind you that this teleconference is governed by the Safe Harbor wording that you find in your published results documents. Please note that our presentations contain forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current views with respect to future events. These forward-looking statements can be identified by expressions such as assume, anticipate, believe, estimate, expect, intend, may, plan, project, and should. Such statements are subject to many risks and uncertainties, examples of which are set out in the Safe Harbor wording in our disclosure document, and they’re also described in our Risk Report, in the Daimler Annual Report and in the most recent Interim Report. If the assumptions underlying any of these statements prove incorrect, then actual results may be materially different from those expressed or implied by such statements. Forward-looking statements speak only to the date on which they are made.

May I now hand you over to Dr. Michael Mühlbayer, Head of Daimler Investor Relations and Treasury? Thank you very much.

Dr. Michael Mühlbayer – Head, Investor Relations and Treasury

Good afternoon, this is Michael Mühlbayer speaking. On behalf of Daimler, I would like to welcome you on both the telephone and the Internet to our Q3 Results Conference. In order to give you maximum time for your questions, our CFO, Bodo Uebber will begin with a short introduction directly followed by Q&A.

Now, I would like to handover to Bodo Uebber.

Bodo Uebber – Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Michael. Ladies and gentlemen, we announced our third quarter numbers earlier today, and they are, again, strong numbers. Group sales increased in all divisions and revenue increased by 5%. At the group level, we posted EBIT of €2.1 billion from ongoing business. That’s an increase of 4% compared to the previous year. Also, net profit at €1.4 billion was at good level. In the third quarter, we also generated substantial industrial free cash flow of €1.5 billion, excluding the cash outflow for the recent Tognum investment and the pension contribution made in July. Our net liquidity remains high, at €10.4 billion.

Now, let’s start discussing the performance of our divisions in the third quarter. Mercedes-Benz Cars continued its positive business development and set a new record with unit sales of 337,000 vehicles in the third quarter. The Mercedes-Benz brand also posted a new record, selling 315,000 units. Mercedes-Benz Cars posted an EBIT of €1.1 billion with a return on sales of 8% despite substantial headwinds, such as product changeovers, increased material and currency costs.

In September, we started deliveries of the new M-Class to our U.S. dealers. The roadster version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was followed in the fourth quarter. In November, we will launch the new B-Class, the first of five new models in the compact-car segment. We’re also introducing our particularly fuel efficient 4, 6, and 8-cylinder engines and the eco-start-stop technology in additional models. In the new generation C-Class, for example, the C 220 CDI delivers fuel consumption of just 4.4 liters to 100 kilometers and CO2 emissions of only 117 grams per kilometer. Production is in the fast lane. We anticipate strong production in the coming months. We are targeting sales at a record level of 1.35 million units for the full year 2011.

For Q4, 2011, we target EBIT at similar level to Q4 of last year. While we expect a continuing increase of sales and sustainable market development, we will be impacted, besides cost seasonality at year-end, by ongoing headwinds due to material costs, ongoing model changeovers, changes in sales structure and FX. At Daimler Trucks, we recorded EBIT of €587 million from ongoing business in the third quarter, which equal a return on sales of 7.7%. All business units positively contributed to our improving performance. The results increased for the third quarter in row. Daimler Trucks also achieved strong growth in unit sales and substantially surpassed the prior-year level with 116,000 vehicles sold in the third quarter.

Trucks Europe/Latin America increased its unit sales by 21% to 43,000 vehicles. In the Medium and Heavy-duty truck segments, Daimler Trucks is once again the market leader in Western Europe and Turkey. Trucks NAFTA was particularly successful with 63% growth in unit sales to 33,000 vehicles. We continue to be number one in the overall segment of Classes 6 to 8 in the NAFTA region. Trucks Asia increased its unit sales by 2% to 40,000 vehicles. With incoming orders of 107,000, we posted a good number in Q3 2011. As of today, our order backlog extends into Q1, 2012.

Daimler Trucks expects to post significant growth in unit sales in full-year 2011. Sales in Q4 ‘11 are expected to exceed the prior level based on our good order situation and stabilization of the Japanese market. For Q4 2011, we expect EBIT at a higher level than last year. While we expect higher sales, we have to deal with burdens associated with emission technologies, the expansion in gross markets, as well as cost seasonality at year-end. In addition, we have to account for the main part of costs in connection with the Actros introduction. Two-thirds of the €200 million to €300 million are booked in Q4 2011. In Q3 2011, we also settled the Tognum acquisition. That business is now allocated to the Daimler Trucks business.

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