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DaimlerChrysler beats own expectations in third quarter

DaimlerChrysler has released third quarter results which exceed its expectations and improves on last year's performance.

Operating profit for the group, excluding one-time effects, up 23% on the same period last year to £438m (0.7 billion euros), surpassing the company's expectations. However, the company said that seasonal fluctuations meant earnings were lower than the £454m (725m euros) reported in the second quarter of 2001. The deferrment of custome purchases as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks also contributed to the lower earnings.

The 'softening' US market was blamed for a 6% decline in Chrysler Group sales to 587,000 in the third quarter. This led to revenues of £9.1 billion (14.6 billion euros), 4% below the pervious year's.

The operating loss decreased to £167m (267m euros) (Q3 2000: £362m).

The Mercedes-Benz Cars and Smart division increased unit sales by 10% to 302,200 vehicles, with revenues growing 10% to £7.3 billion (11.6 billion euros). The operating profit of £505m (807m euros) was 9% above the adjusted figure for the previous year. Mercedes-Benz unit sales increased 11% to a new record 276,000 vehicles. Smart sales totalled 25,600, the same as in the previous year.

The company said: “The uncertainty created by the terrorist attacks in the US makes it more difficult to forecast business developments for the rest of the year. This is particularly the case with respect to the US automotive market, but also regarding DaimlerChrysler's other important markets.”

"Nevertheless, for the year 2001 the DaimlerChrysler Group still aims to achieve an operating profit excluding one-time effects of about the lower end of the 1.2 billion euros (£751m) to 1.7 billion euros (£1.1 billion) range announced in February."

DaimlerChrysler expects revenues of more than 145 billion euros (£90.8 billion) for the full year.

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