--Daimler upbeat on outlook for the year after profit rise in 2020

--Proposed dividend is higher than 2019 payout

--Daimler shares traded higher on the news

   By Kim Richters 

Daimler AG on Thursday posted increased net profit for 2020, while proposing a higher dividend and saying it was confident for the current year.

Net profit for 2020 rose to 3.63 billion euros ($4.37 billion) from EUR2.38 billion a year earlier, the German premium car maker said. Net profit in the fourth quarter alone was EUR3.49 billion, compared with a loss of EUR109 million in the same period year-prior.

Revenue for the full year fell 11% to EUR154.31 billion, while quarterly revenue came in 1% lower at EUR46.62 billion.

Daimler had already released some preliminary figures for 2020, including earnings before interest and taxes that were up more than 50% on-year and stood at EUR6.60 billion.

Cost and cash-saving steps as well as strong performances across divisions boosted earnings, the company said.

It has now proposed a dividend of EUR1.35 a share for 2020, up from EUR0.90 a share for 2019. In 2018, the dividend was EUR3.25.

Looking ahead, Daimler expects group sales, revenues and EBIT in 2021 to be significantly above the prior-year level. For unit sales this would mean an increase of at least 7.5%.

The effect of the semiconductor shortage the industry is currently facing will be mainly felt on sales in the first quarter, Daimler said, but it expects to recover lost production volume by year-end.

"We are confident that we can maintain positive momentum if current market conditions prevail, accelerating our strategic plans and further enhancing our financial robustness," said Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kallenius.

At 1049 GMT, shares in Daimler traded 1.2% higher at EUR66.24.


Write to Kim Richters at kim.richters@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 18, 2021 06:30 ET (11:30 GMT)

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