Daimler AG (ticker symbol: DAI) today reported its preliminary results for the fiscal year 2019 ended December 31, 2019. The Group’s total unit sales of 3.34 million passenger cars and commercial vehicles were in the magnitude of the previous year (2018: 3.35 million). Revenue was €172.7 billion (2018: €167.4 billion), an increase of 3%. The Daimler Group posted full-year EBIT of €4.3 billion (2018: €11.1 billion), reflecting material adjustments including expenses from legal proceedings and related measures, restructuring measures and M&A transactions. Adjusted EBIT, reflecting the underlying business, was €10.3 billion.
Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG: “While our results in 2019 reflect ongoing strong customer demand for our attractive products, we cannot be satisfied with our bottom line. Above all, material adjustments affected our financial results last year. The future of the Daimler Group lies in CO2-neutral mobility as well as in consistent digitization, leveraging its full potential in our products and our processes. To achieve that, we have substantially ramped up our investments into new technologies. We are determined to materialize our technological leadership and at the same time to significantly improve profitability. To this end, measures to cut costs and to increase cash flows are necessary. In 2019, we defined them and we have started executing. We will take the necessary actions to enhance our financial strength as the basis for our future strategy.”
In 2019, net profit weakened to €2.7 billion (2018: €7.6 billion). Net profit attributable to the shareholders of Daimler AG amounted to €2.4 billion (2018: €7.2 billion), leading to a decline in earnings per share to €2.22 (2018: €6.78). At the Annual General Meeting on April 1, 2020, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board will propose a dividend of €0.90 per share (2018: €3.25). The total payout will therefore amount to €1.0 billion (2018: €3.5 billion).
Investments, free cash flow and liquidity
At the Group, investments in property, plant and equipment decreased to €7.1 billion (2018: €7.5 billion). Research and development expenditure increased to €9.7 billion (2018: €9.1 billion). The free cash flow of the industrial business was €1.4 billion (2018: €2.9 billion). The sharp decrease resulted from a substantial cash outflow in connection with legal proceedings relating to diesel vehicles. Also, a continued high level of expenses for new products and technologies had a negative effect. The net liquidity of the industrial business stabilized at €11.0 billion (2018: €16.3 billion), taking into account lessee accounting in accordance with IFRS 16 and the dividend payment for fiscal year 2018. The inclusion of lessee accounting in accordance with IFRS16 reduced the net liquidity of the industrial business from the end of 2018 to the beginning of 2019 by €3.2 billion.
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