Electric and Luxury Models Boost Mercedes-Benz Earnings

Electric and Luxury Models Boost Mercedes-Benz Earnings
A logo of Mercedes-Benz is seen outside a Mercedes-Benz car dealer, amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Brussels, on May 28, 2020. (Yves Herman/Reuters)

BERLIN—Mercedes-Benz will prioritize sales of top-end and electric vehicles in 2022 and deepen its relationship with chip producers, the carmaker said on Thursday, seeking more control over its supply chain amid an ongoing semiconductor shortage.

The Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans division more than doubled its annual adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to 13.9 billion euros ($15.61 billion) from 6.8 billion euros last year even as unit sales fell 5 percent.

Revenue from top-end vehicles lifted earnings, with top models bringing in 30 percent more than last year and revenue from electric passenger cars up 64 percent.

“Alongside the focus on cost efficiency and supply chain management, three strategic priorities stand out: scaling our electric offensive, accelerating our car software plans, and building out our luxury business,” Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said.

The company will propose a dividend of 5 euros per share for the year, it said, a significant jump from last year’s 1.35. Around 0.7 euros of this will represent the Daimler Truck dividend, as the truckmaker will not make a separate payout this year, the company said.

Mercedes-Benz, which changed its name from Daimler on Feb 1 this year, expects revenue to rise slightly this year compared with 2021 as supply chain bottlenecks ease but added it was too soon to predict an end to the global semiconductor shortage.

The spin-off of the company’s truck division Daimler Truck in December last year resulted in a one-time EBIT boost of 9.2 billion euros.

By Victoria Waldersee