Preliminary quarterly earnings from Daimler show a big COVID-19 crisis induced decline and the company has also warned of a much weaker outlook for the year.

Daimler Group EBIT for the first quarter was put at EUR617m, 78% down on last year’s Q1 result. Adjusted EBIT for the first quarter was EUR719m, 69% down on last year’s pace.

Daimler said it continues to believe that the original forecast for the financial year 2020, as disclosed in connection with annual report 2019, is no longer valid.

In a statement, the company said the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on customer demand, supply chains and vehicle production “cannot be assessed with the usual degree of detail and certainty, making the re-evaluation of the forecast for the fiscal year 2020 complex”. However, it said it expects the group’s total unit sales for 2020 to be below the prior year, with lower unit sales at each of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses.

As a result, Daimler said it expects the group revenue for the financial year 2020 to be below the prior year – and year-on-year declines also for EBIT and cash flow. The full quarterly results will be published on April 29, 2020.