Daimler prepares investors for possible 2013 profit warning

City A.M. Reporter
GERMAN premium carmaker Daimler said it might cut its 2013 profit expectations this month, sparking sharp criticism from shareholders gathering for yesterday’s annual meeting, as Europe’s car market shrank at an alarming rate.

Daimler has fallen far behind German rivals BMW and Audi due to deep-seated problems in China, and the latest profit warning is another dent in the credibility of chief executive Dieter Zetsche, whose contract extension in February nearly ended in a boardroom coup.

“Not much tailwind is anticipated from the markets in the coming months. For Europe in particular, there are no signs of a trend reversal,” Zetsche said, adding Daimler would reassess whether its previous assumptions for 2013 were still valid when it reports first-quarter results on 24 April.

•The tumultuous European car market has barely dented Jaguar Land Rover, which yesterday said it sold 115,504 vehicles in the first quarter of 2013, up 17 per cent on last year in a record three months for the Tata-owned firm.