Daimler in transition: focus on sustainability, efficiency and mobility of the future

Sustainability to be anchored even more firmly in corporate strategy

The Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Daimler AG at the Berlin Expo Center is to make key strategic decisions: The shareholders will vote on a new Group structure with the transformation of the automotive divisions into legally independent entities and Daimler AG as the parent company. The agenda also includes the further transformation of the vehicle manufacturer into a provider of mobility services and the growing importance of sustainability for a successful business model. At the end of the Annual Shareholder’s Meeting, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management for many years, will hand over to his successor, Ola Källenius, who will continue to develop Daimler from its strong core business with a partially renewed management team. At the Annual Shareholder’s Meeting about 6,000 shareholders are expected, like in the previous year.

“Daimler’s success is based on great automotive expertise and strategic foresight. The Daimler Group’s strategy for locally emission-free mobility should allow customers to make their own contributions to climate protection,” said Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG in welcoming the attending shareholders at the Annual Meeting. “In general, the question arises as to the future of individual mobility. It is one of the central challenges facing the automotive industry. It is certainly no longer sufficient just to offer fascinating vehicles with future-orientated drivetrains. It is up to the automotive manufacturers to reinvent mobility solutions in urban environments. The performance of the core business has to be right in order to master all these issues.”

Daimler AG continued to increase its unit sales and revenue in 2018 despite generally difficult conditions. Group EBIT and net profit reached solid levels. With its 298,683 employees (2017: 289,321), the Group increased its unit sales by 2.4% to 3.4 million vehicles (2017: 3.3 million) and thus achieved its growth target. Revenue amounted to €167.4 billion (2017: €164.2 billion). EBIT amounted to €11.1 billion, which is significantly below the prior-year level (2017: €14.3 billion). Net profit decreased to €7.6 billion (2017: €10.6 billion) while earnings per share decreased to €6.78 (2017: €9.61).

The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board will propose a dividend of €3.25 per share to the shareholders at the Annual Meeting (previous year: €3.65). The total dividend payout will thus amount to €3.5 billion (previous year: €3.9 billion). This proposed dividend is the second highest in the company’s history. The dividend will be distributed on the third business day after the resolution of the Annual Meeting, May 27, 2019, to all shareholders who held Daimler AG shares on May 22, 2019.

“Daimler has made significant progress in recent years, although we are not satisfied with the latest quarterly results and the share price,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. Looking back, Daimler has gone through different phases. “For a time, we were active troubleshooters and we refocused the company on what we do best: vehicles that convince rationally and inspire emotionally. Then we went on the offensive. With Mercedes-Benz we wanted to lead the premium segment by 2020. We have been Number One since 2016. In the commercial vehicles segment, we were able to further build on our leading position. This offensive was not an end in itself. With it, we have built up the strength we need in order to take on the leading role for the much greater task: the transformation of the automotive industry. To do so, we have initiated the greatest change in our history. This transformation is in full swing and it encompasses our products and technologies as well as our business model and corporate culture.”

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SOURCE: Daimler

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