Mercedes-Benz booked first quarter 2023 group EBIT up 5% year on year to €5.5bn (Q1 2022: €5.2b) as revenue rose 8% to €37.5bn (€34.9bn)

Cars adjusted return on sales dipped to 14.8% from 16.4%, rose to 15.6% at Vans (from 12.6%), while adjusted return on equity fell to 15.6% from 20.2% for Mobility.

Group outlook remained unchanged with Vans adjusted RoS lifted to 11%-13% and Cars adjusted RoS forecast at the upper end of 12%–14%.

The automaker said the “healthy first quarter financial results” were due to a rise in sales of top-end vehicles and premium vans while improved pricing “outweighed headwinds from material costs”.

Adjusted EBIT rose to €5.4bn (€5.3bn).

Six consecutive quarters of delivering double-digit margins demonstrate resilience and a structurally uplifted business performance.

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By GlobalData

Cars sales rose 3% to 503,483 units despite ongoing supply chain disruptions, “economic headwinds” and geopolitical uncertainty.

BEV sales doubled (+119%), and electric vehicles reached 10% of overall sales.

Vans sales rose 12% to 98,885 units “despite the continuing challenges in logistics” while BEV van volume rose to 3,570 units from 2,925, or 4% of sales.

Mobility doubled new business volume for BEVs to €1.2bn (€0.5bn). At 31 March 2023, contract volume dipped to €131.3bn from €132.4bn). New business was €14.7bn versus €14.5bn). Adjusted EBIT fell to €539m from €733m impacted by higher interest rates and slightly increased investments.

This week, Mercedes-Benz transferred its Russian business to Avtodom which it said “had no significant effects on profitability and cash flows”.

Mobility expects a loss in “the low triple-digit million euros range” once the sale is effective. “No significant effects are expected on liquidity and capital resources,” the automaker said.

Outlook

Unit sales and revenue at Cars are seen remaining at 2022 level with adjusted RoS at the upper end of 12%-14%. Investments in property, plant and equipment are expected to be “significantly above the [2022] level. Research and development expenditures are now seen significantly above mainly due to MB.OS, AMG.EA and MB.EA.

Vans unit sales are now seen slightly above the 2022 level. Revenue is seen significantly above last year’s and adjusted RoS is now expected in the range of 11%–13%.

Research and development expenditures are expected to be significantly above last year’s level.

New business at Mobility expected slightly above 2022 with contract volume flat and revenue is pegged slightly below 2022. Adjusted RoE is 12%–14%.

Group revenue is forecast flat and EBIT slightly below.