BERLIN, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- German carmaker Daimler announced on Friday that its net profit totaled 2.16 billion euros (2.56 billion U.S. dollars) in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020, after a net loss of 1.9 billion euros in the previous quarter.
"Our strong product portfolio and the positive market recovery drove us to a good performance" in the third quarter, said Harald Wilhelm, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, responsible for finance & controlling/Daimler Mobility.
However, unit sales of Daimler in Q3 were still down eight percent year-on-year and fell to 772,703 cars and commercial vehicles, while revenues declined seven percent to 40.3 billion euros, according to the company.
Unit sales of Daimler's core brand Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans only decreased by four percent to 673,447 vehicles in Q3. As a result of the global COVID-19 crisis, sales of Daimler's flagship brand in the first nine months of the year were still down 17 percent compared with last year.
A free cash flow of around 5.1 billion euros in Q3 reflected the "continuous efforts in cost-cutting and cash-preservation measures as well as the positive operating performance across all divisions," Daimler noted. Dividends of 1.2 billion euros from its Chinese joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd. (BBAC) also contributed to this.
Daimler recently announced that "China continued to be the main driver of Mercedes-Benz passenger car sales as the market continued its rapid recovery in the third quarter." With sales of 223,631 units in Q3, China exceeded last year's third-quarter record, with a plus of 23.4 percent.
Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans increased by 29 percent year-on-year to 2.4 billion euros. Daimler noted that "improved pricing and a significant reduction in fixed costs had a positive impact on earnings."
"We have successfully pushed forward our comprehensive efforts regarding cost control and cash management," stressed Wilhelm, adding that "with this momentum, we are on track to make our business more weatherproof."
Following the announcement, Daimler was among the winners in the DAX index of Germany's 30 largest listed companies, with shares increasing by almost two percent at early trading on Friday. Enditem