Daimler has booked first quarter net profit up 20% year on year after unit sales rose 9% to 502,100 vehicles and group revenue reached EUR27.0bn.

EBIT of EUR2,130m was slightly higher than Q1 2011’s EUR2,031m). Net profit increased by 20% to EUR1,416m (Q1 2011: EUR1,180m) and earnings per share rose to EUR1.25 from EUR0.99 in the first quarter of 2011.

Cue chairman Dieter Zetsche: “We are on schedule to meet our targets for this year as well as our medium-term targets.”

Mercedes-Benz Cars EBIT slipped to  EUR1,252m from EUR1,288m and return on sales was down to 8.4% from 9.3%.

Daimler Trucks revenue rose 18% to EUR7.4bn but EBIT was EUR383m versus EUR413m and return on sales was 5.2% (6.6%) with Daimler citing product development costs and “a difficult market environment in Latin America”.

Daimler expects higher unit sales in 2012 but EBIT targets across its individual divisions are expected to be mostly flat or slightly below 2011 results.