Daimler has raised its dividend after reporting record levels of unit sales, revenue, EBIT and net profit for 2013. It said it expects further growth in 2014.

“2013 was a year that we didn’t begin particularly well, but which we ended very successfully. Our efforts paid off,” said Dieter Zetsche, Daimler Chairman and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Daimler is in very good condition. Our prospects for the future also make us confident that we will achieve our ambitious goals in all our divisions.”

EBIT increased in 2013 by 23% to EUR10.8bn, a record for Daimler. EBIT from ongoing business amounted to EUR7.9bn (2012: EUR8.2bn).

Net profit of EUR8.7bn was higher than ever before in the company’s history (2012: EUR6.8bn).

Daimler also said it further increased its unit sales in 2013. Sales of 2.35m vehicles in the year were 7% ahead of 2012. Daimler said that all of the automotive divisions contributed to this growth: Mercedes-Benz Cars (+8%), Daimler Trucks (+5%), Mercedes-Benz Vans (+7%) and Daimler Buses (+5%).

Driven by growth in unit sales, group revenue increased by 3% to the record level of EUR118.0bn; adjusted for exchange-rate effects, revenue grew by 7%.

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At the Mercedes-Benz Cars division, revenue also increased to a new record level, rising by 4% to EUR64.3bn. However, at EUR4,006m, EBIT was lower than the figure for the previous year (EUR4,391 million). The division’s return on sales was 6.2% (2012: 7.1%), and 7.5% (2012: 5.3%) in fourth quarter 2013.

There were positive effects on Mercedes-Benz Cars’ earnings from further growth in unit sales, especially in China, the United States and Western Europe, the company said, adding that “this was due in particular to the group’s expanded range of compact cars [such as CLA]”. It also said that better pricing and the efficiency actions from the “Fit for Leadership” program also had positive effects on earnings. However, earnings were adversely affected by the changed model mix, unfavourable exchange-rate effects and “higher levels of vehicle equipment, as well as by capacity expansions and advance expenditure for new technologies and new products”. Special expenses of EUR174m were incurred in the area of alternative drive systems (2012: EUR51 million).

Mercedes-Benz Cars also said that important new product launches should help the division to significantly increase its unit sales in 2014, highlighting the impact of the new S-Class.