Daimler profits jump on record Mercedes sales

Mercedes car Mercedes-Benz performed particularly well in Europe and the US

German car and truck maker Daimler has reported a sharp rise in profits thanks in part to record sales at its Mercedes-Benz division.

Net profit for the first three months of the year was $1.42bn euros ($1.87bn; £1.15bn), up 20% on a year earlier. Revenue rose almost 10% to 27bn euros.

Sales of Mercedes hit a record 338,300 units, with European and US markets performing particularly well.

Luxury car brands are performing well despite global economic uncertainty.

Earlier this month, rivals BMW and Audi reported sharp increases in sales.

'Challenging environment'

Revenue at Mercedes rose by 8% to 14.9bn euros, while Daimler's truck division also performed well.

Sales rose 21% to 107,700 units, bringing in revenue of 7.4bn euros.

The one area of weakness was Mercedes vans, where sales fell due to "market weakness in western Europe".

Overall, Daimler said it expects to sell more vehicles this year than last.

"We have started the year with a strong first quarter," said chairman Dieter Zetsche.

"Despite higher investment in future growth and a challenging market environment, we succeeded in surpassing the very good prior-year results in terms of unit sales, revenue and net profit."

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