COMPANIESLawsuit costs push Daimler Q2 profits 12%


A eur400m provision to cover the cost of lawsuits relating to emissions questions in the US has pushed underlying profits at Daimler 12 per cent lower.The company, which makes Mercedes-Benz, flagged record sales in the second quarter, with the number of cars sold increasing 7 per cent to 761,300, writes Peter Campbell, Motor Industry Correspondent.Earlier this month, the group issued an ad hoc announcement – required under German law if results differ greatly from expectations – to say that earnings before interest and tax were up 5.6 per cent from a year ago at €3.97bn in the second quarter, a figure that was well ahead of forecasts and send shares rising.In the release, the company noted that the higher profits did not include “special items” including a eur440 charge over the Takata airbag affair, and eur400m for “expenses related to legal proceedings”.In its full disclosure on Thursday, the company said the money related to class action lawsuits it has faced in the US over allegations it used cheating software in its diesel vehicles to mask the true extent of emissions of harmful Nitrogen Oxide gases.Daimler is carrying out an investigation after being asked by the US Department of Justice to answer questions on the affair. It is co-operating and has called the lawsuits that it faces baseless.Once special items are included, its earnings before tax fell from eur3.72bn to eur3.26bn.Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management, said: “We are starting the second half of the year with record unit sales and will systematically continue along our path. The development of earnings once again shows that our company is extremely well positioned in all areas and that our long-term strategy is paying off on a sustained basis.”

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