Daimler has announced – with preliminary figures – that it returned to profit in the first quarter helped by higher sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Daimler said that group earnings in Q1 before interest and taxes (EBIT) including special reporting items amounted to  EUR1.2bn versus a loss of EUR1.4bn in the same period last year.

It said the positive EBIT in the first quarter was supported by ‘very solid results at Mercedes-Benz Cars in consequence of strong sales, model mix and pricing as well as a favourable overall cost position’.

Daimler said that it expects Mercedes-Benz Cars to post a 2010 EBIT of EUR25bn-EUR3bn. Daimler Trucks anticipates an EBIT of EUR500-EUR-700m, it said.

Daimler noted that the Q1 figures are preliminary and not reviewed by the auditor. Daimler will publish final numbers and the group guidance as well as further details of its quarterly financial statements on April 27.