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First quarter net profit at Daimler doubled to €2.8bn, as best-ever car sales pushed revenue to new heights.

The Stuttgart-based parent of Mercedes-Benz said revenue in the quarter rose 11 per cent to €38.8bn, thanks to fatter margins and a double-digit rise in unit sales.

The world leader in luxury car sales had already released other key details two weeks ago, as German securities law tells companies to pre-release earnings whether they differ significantly from market expectations.

The earlier release showed that first-quarter earnings before interest and taxes had rocketed up 87 per cent from a year ago to €4bn.

Earnings for Merdedes-Benz were €2.2bn, up 60 per cent from a year ago as car sales rose 16 per cent to 560,625 — its best quarter on record. Profit margins at the unit rose from 7 per cent to 9.8 per cent.

Including all passenger cars and commercial vehicles, Daimler sales rose 10 per cent to 754,300 vehicles.

“Ahead of us, we have a variety of opportunities for further profitable growth,” said Dieter Zetsche, chief executive.

“We do have the right products to take advantage of these opportunities – and the financial strength to make the necessary investments. The latest example: our new S-class. Daimler remains on the fast lane.”

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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