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Daimler sales unaffected by VW pollution scandal

German auto maker Daimler has reported record sales for the third quarter, lifting operating profit by almost a third year-on-year. The results showed the firm unharmed by rival VW’s pollution scandal.
Germany’s Daimler, maker of the luxury Mercedes brand, said Thursday it had logged record unit sales in the July-September period, shifting 720,000 cars worldwide and marking a 13-percent increase from the level reached in the same period a year earlier.

The company managed to lift its Q3 revenues to 37.3 billion euros ($41.8 billion) and operating profit to 3.6 billion euros, beating analysts’ expectations.

“We achieved a return on sales of 10 percent in the automotive business in the third quarter and proved once again we’re pursuing the right strategy,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement, adding that the results “speak for themselves.”

Unfazed by VW scandal

The carmaker’s financial director, Bodo Uebber, said Daimler’s diesel car sales appeared not to have suffered from the emission tests cheating scandal at Volkswagen.

Third-quarter net earnings dropped, though, by 15 percent year-on-year. But the company said one had to factor in one-off effects such as last year’s one-billion-euro sale of Daimler’s stake in a Rolls-Royce power system unit.

Looking ahead, the Stuttgart-based company expected dwindling demand for its cars in China, Russia and Brazil, while it saw good prospects for expansion in North America and western Europe.

hg/pad (dpa, AFP)

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