Daimler has posted record third quarter 2016 unit sales and EBIT adjusted for special items after boosting unit sales 5% to 754,100 cars and commercial vehicles worldwide.

Nine-month unit sales rose 6% to 2.2m vehicles. Q3 revenue was up 4% to EUR38.6bn.

Q3 EBIT was EUR4,037m, up from EUR3,661m in 2015. EBIT adjusted was a record EUR4,010m (EUR3,657m). Net profit improved to EUR2,726m (EUR2,415m).

"Daimler again posted record earnings in the third quarter. So we have proven one more time that we are pursuing the right strategy," said chairman Dieter Zetsche.

Mercedes-Benz Cars' third-quarter unit sales increased 11% to 565,600 vehicles. Revenue increased 12% to EUR23.3bn. EBIT was EUR2,746m (EUR2,183m). Return on sales rose to 11.8% from 10.5%). Earnings rose on higher SUV and E class unit sales but advance expenditure for new technologies and vehicles also rose.

Daimler Trucks sold 97,100 vehicles in the third quarter – way down on 128,500 in Q3 2015 – due to lower demand in many key markets. For example, NAFTA region sales fell to 31,400 units from 52,200.

Outlook

"At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the fundamental situation of the world economy has not changed; there are no perceptible indications of either acceleration or deceleration of growth," Daimler said. "Although moderate expansion can be expected for the fourth quarter, full-year 2016 will probably have the lowest growth rate since the financial crisis, with expansion of global gross domestic product (GDP) of just under 2.5%.

"According to recent assessments, worldwide demand for cars is likely to increase from its already high level by about 2% in 2016. Once again, the biggest contribution to this global growth should come from the Chinese market, which is likely to continue expanding at a significant rate. But the expected increase in demand will to a great extent be due to state stimulus. No more growth is expected for the US market for cars and light trucks, and sales volumes there will be slightly below the high level of the previous year. Significant growth is anticipated for western Europe.

"Despite the vote in favour of Brexit, current assessments are that the British market will remain at its unusually high level. In Japan, a slight decrease in demand is to be expected following the significant market correction of 2015. Prospects for the major emerging markets remain mixed."