After a strong year, Mercedes-Benz is cautiously looking to 2023. CEO Ola Källenius announced less profit in the most important areas on Friday, although the number of cars sold and sales should be similarly high. Mercedes had already announced a billion-dollar share buyback to shareholders the evening before, and with the dividend, the company also exceeded the expectations of experts. The share gained more than two percent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
The Stuttgart-based company expects slightly higher prices. The used car business, on the other hand, is expected to be down on the previous year. The forecasts as a whole are subject to an extraordinary degree of uncertainty, Mercedes said. Group earnings before interest and taxes will probably fall slightly - in the company's terminology, this means a drop of between 5 and 15 percent. In addition to less demand for used cars, higher costs for loan defaults are also likely to reduce profits.
Sales increased to 150 billion euros last year
"Even if we cannot control macroeconomic and geopolitical events, the 2022 financial year is proof that the strategic direction is right," said Källenius. Last year, thanks to the luxury focus and price increases, Mercedes made significantly more profit. The consolidated result was 14.8 billion euros. That was a third more than in the previous year if only the continuing operations are considered. A billion-dollar special income due to the spin-off of the truck business from Daimler Truck had pushed up the group profit in 2021 to over 23 billion euros.
Mercedes increased sales last year by 12 percent to 150 billion euros. The company delivered slightly fewer cars to end customers, but more cars wholesale. Above all, sales of top models such as the S-Class, the tuning subsidiary AMG and the luxury brand Maybach, which yield more profits, picked up. In the case of particularly expensive cars, it should also be slightly up this year. About twice as many of the fully electric models are to be sold as in the previous year.