Daimler sees profits at Mercedes-Benz Cars rising in 2020Daimler sees profits at Mercedes-Benz Cars rising in 2020
FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Germany

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Daimler said it expected the operating profit of its Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans division to be above the prior-year level, even as the corona pandemic forced the Stuttgart-based car and trucks maker to abandon its outlook earlier this month.

First-quarter earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was 617 million euros ($669.45 million), down from 2.8 billion euros in the year-earlier period, of which 510 million euros came from the Mercedes-Benz cars unit.

Daimler expects group revenue and EBIT to be below 2019 levels but given substantial one-off charges in the year-earlier period, the Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans division is now seen delivering EBIT above prior-year, the company said.

Last week Daimler pre-released preliminary results, showing a plunge of nearly 70% in first-quarter operating profit and warned that the cash flow it uses to pay dividends would fall this year.

($1 = 0.9217 euros)

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Riham Alkousaa)