Company Announcements

Mercedes-Benz Q1 Profit Rises as Pricing Power and Resilience Offset Headwinds

  • Profitability increased: Mercedes-Benz Cars adjusted Return on Sales in Q1 reaches 16.4% and Mercedes-Benz Vans adjusted Return on Sales 12.6%
  • Transformation accelerated: Top-end and electric vehicle demand surges, EQE launched and U.S. battery factory opened to supply EQS SUV
  • Milestones achieved: EQXX sets benchmark with >1,000 kilometres range, Level 3 enters production
  • Healthy balance sheet: Free Cash Flow Industrial Business at €1,216 million, Net Industrial Liquidity reached €22,706 million
  • Outlook 2022: Guidance for Group KPI’s confirmed despite impact of geopolitical situation

STUTTGART, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 27, 2022-- Mercedes-Benz Group AG (ticker symbol: MBG) achieved strong financial results in the first quarter of 2022, boosted by pricing power, the sharpened focus on top-end vehicles and premium vans, combined with ongoing cost discipline. These measures helped to lift the adjusted Return on Sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars to 16.4% and to 12.6% for Mercedes-Benz Vans even as the COVID-19 pandemic, semiconductor supply-chain bottlenecks and war in Ukraine continued to impact business.

”In this challenging environment resilience and pricing power are crucial. Our sharpened focus on desirable top-end and electric vehicles, combined with ongoing cost discipline, allowed us to deliver strong earnings despite numerous headwinds,” said Harald Wilhelm,Chief Financial Officer of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. “On this foundation we continue to transform our business by growing the luxury business, scaling up production of electric vehicles and accelerating software development.”

Group EBIT rose 11% to €5.2 billion (Q1 2021: €4.7 billion). Earnings were impacted by a positive €918 million gain from the sale of Canadian own retail operations and the partial sale of MB Grand Prix, nearly offsetting €709 million in expenses tied to adjustments of industrial business activities in Russia and €281 million in expenses related to diesel vehicles.

In the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Mercedes-Benz suspended the export of passenger cars, vans and spare parts to Russia and halted local manufacturing. Furthermore, the company is in close contact with suppliers that have exposure to Ukraine with a view to safeguarding supply chains. This includes among other things, transferring production to other locations within the supplier network. Mercedes-Benz has adapted shift plans at some plants and taking advantage of its flexible manufacturing system to avoid downtime and maintain production.

Mercedes-Benz reasserted its claim to leadership in the electric era. In April, the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX demonstrated world-beating efficiency by driving more than 1,000 kilometres on a single charge under real-world conditions. The EQS SUV was presented and the EQE was launched in the market. That’s after Mercedes-Benz opened a new battery plant in the United States in the first quarter, as part of a broader push to ramp up global production of electric vehicles this year.

Mercedes-Benz Group*

Q1-2022

Q1-2021

Change
22/21

Revenue**

34,858

32,882

+6%

EBIT**

5,229

4,701

+11%

EBIT adjusted**

5,301

4,444

+19%

Net profit/loss**

3,586

3,470

+3%

Net liquidity (industrial business, March, 31)**

22,706

-

-

Free cash flow (industrial business)**

1,216

1,297

-6%

Free cash flow (industrial business) adjusted**

1,210

2,505

-52%

Earnings per share (EPS) in EUR

3.26

3.18

+3%

* from continuing operations

**in millions of €

Investments, free cash flow and liquidity

The free cash flow of the industrial business in the first quarter amounted to €1,216 million (Q1 2021: €1,297 million). The adjusted free cash flow of the industrial business was €1,210 million (Q1 2021: €2,505 million). The net liquidity of the industrial business amounted to €22,706 million (end of 2021: €21,005 million). The Group’s investments in property, plant and equipment in the first quarter totalled €855 million (Q1 2021: €1,186 million). Of this amount €0.8 billion (Q1 2021 €1.1 billion) was attributable to Mercedes-Benz Cars and €18 million to Mercedes-Benz Vans (Q1 2021: €29 million). Research & development expenditure amounted to €1,979 million (Q1 2021: €2,414 million) including important upfront investments in future products. At €1.9 billion (Q1 2021: €1.9 billion), Mercedes-Benz Cars accounted for a majority of the research and development expenditure. During the reporting period, Mercedes-Benz Vans had research and development expenditure of €84 million (Q1 2021 €119 million.)

Divisional results

Despite strong demand, sales at the Mercedes-Benz Carsdecreased by 10% to 487,008 vehicles (Q1 2021: 538,869) mainly due to semiconductor supply bottlenecks, COVID-19 lockdowns as well as the war in Ukraine. Nonetheless, revenue rose 8% highlighting the pricing power and ability to improve product mix even in volatile markets. Deliveries of top-end vehicles, which include Mercedes-Maybach, Mercedes-AMG, G-Class, S-Class, GLS and EQS, rose 5% to 78,000 vehicles during the same period. Top-end vehicles now account for 16% of overall volume. Sales of Mercedes-Benz Cars hybrid and electric models rose 19% during the quarter to 74,000 vehicles.

This resulted in a 21% rise in adjusted EBIT to €4,243 million and an adjusted Return on Sales of 16.4%. The adjusted CFBIT decreased to €1.7 billion due to working capital effects caused mainly by semiconductor supply constraints as well as logistics issues related to Ukraine/Russia and China.

Mercedes-Benz Cars

Q1-2022

Q1-2021

Change 22/21

Sales in units

487,008

538,869

-10%

Revenue*

25,836

23,924

+8%

EBIT*

4,271

3,790

+13%

EBIT adjusted*

4,243

3,515

+21%

Return on Sales (RoS) in %

16.5

15.8

+0.7%pts

Return on Sales (RoS) adjusted in %

16.4

14.7

+1.7%pts

Cash Flow Before Interest and Tax (CFBIT)*

1,847

2,268

-19%

Cash Flow Before Interest and Tax (CFBIT) adjusted*

1,680

2,947

-43%

Cash Conversion Rate adjusted

0.4

0.8

-

*in millions of €

 

 

 

At Mercedes-Benz Vans, unit sales remained at the prior-year level, despite semiconductor shortages as sales of Mercedes-Benz Vans (Sprinter and Metris) reached a new high in the first quarter in North America. The adjusted Return on Sales (RoS) for Mercedes-Benz Vans rose to 12.6% from 9.7% in the year-earlier period, reflecting healthy mix and pricing. The T-Class world premiere followed the introduction of the new Citan, which is being well received thanks to strong market demand.

Mercedes-Benz Vans

Q1-2022

Q1-2021

Change 22/21

Sales in units

88,508

88,418

+0%

Revenue*

3,687

3,398

+9%

EBIT*

348

290

+20%

EBIT adjusted*

466

328

+42%

Return on Sales (RoS) in %

9.4

8.5

+0.9%pts

Return on Sales (RoS) adjusted in %

12.6

9.7

+2.9%pts

Cash Flow Before Interest and Tax (CFBIT)*

378

-296

-

Cash Flow Before Interest and Tax (CFBIT) adjusted*

437

186

+135%

Cash Conversion Rate adjusted

0.9

0.6

-

*in millions of €

 

 

 

At Mercedes-Benz Mobility, new business volume decreased due to the trucks spin-off, supply bottlenecks and lower penetration rates mainly in North America. New business in Russia was suspended and credit reserves for the Russian portfolio were raised. Outside of Russia the portfolio quality remains strong. Mobility services and fleet business performance and margins improved, benefiting from lower refinancing costs compared with the year-earlier period. Adjusted EBIT increased slightly with a Return on Equity of 20.2%.

Mercedes-Benz Mobility

Q1-2022

Q1-2021

Change 22/21

Revenue*

6,782

6,966

-3%

New business*

14,540

16,764

-13%

Contract volume (March, 31)*

134,404

152,685

-12%

EBIT*

733

744

-1%

EBIT adjusted*

733

691

+6%

Return on Equity (RoE) in %

20.2

20.2

-

Return on Equity (RoE) adjusted in %

20.2

18.7

+1.5pts%

*in millions of €

 

 

 

Outlook

The geopolitical and macroeconomic conditions continue to be characterised by an exceptional degree of uncertainty, including the war in Ukraine, its impacts on supply chains, and the development of prices for raw materials and energy. Further effects due to the rapidly changing situation in Russia and Ukraine are not currently known but could possibly have substantial negative consequences for our business activities, should it escalate beyond its current state.

Mercedes-Benz expects supply constraints related to semiconductors and other industrial upstream products and the COVID-19 pandemic to impact business for the remainder of 2022 and continues to monitor supply chain risks closely to react flexibly if needed. Strict COVID-19 countermeasures in China hold uncertainties for the expected development of the market, supply chain and production.

Mercedes-Benz Cars

Mercedes-Benz Cars continues to expect a slight sales increase and an adjusted Return on Sales between 11.5% and 13% with full-year RoS seen at the higher end of this range. Price and mix are expected to remain on a high level, with top-end vehicle sales growth seen at more than 10% year-on-year. Raw material and other inflationary risks are seen for the remainder of the year. The target is to continue to compensate such risks through net pricing. Research and development spending is expected to remain unchanged at slightly above the prior-year level, mainly due to the development of the MMA and AMG.EA platforms. Investments in property plants & equipment are now expected to be at the prior-year level, rather than slightly above the prior-year level.

Mercedes-Benz Vans

Sales are expected to rise slightly above the 2021 level and the adjusted Return on Sales is expected to remain at 8% to 10% and is expected at the upper half of this corridor. Investments in property plants and equipment and research and development is expected to remain significantly above prior-year levels due to spending to upgrade existing combustion engine platforms and to develop the electric VAN.EA platform.

Mercedes-Benz Mobility

The adjusted Return on Equity is seen in the range of 16% to 18%. Margin headwinds are expected due to higher refinancing costs and contract volumes are seen lower. Furthermore, the cost of credit risks is expected to normalize.

Mercedes-Benz Group

Revenue is seen slightly above 2021 while EBIT is seen at the prior-year level. Free cash flow from the industrial business is expected to remain at slightly below the 2021 reference.

Link to press information “Sales figures Q1 2022”:
Mercedes-Benz Cars: group-media.mercedes-benz.com/Sales-Q1/cars
Mercedes-Benz Vans: group-media.mercedes-benz.com/Sales-Q1/vans

Link to capital market presentation Q1 2022: group.mercedes-benz.com/q1-2022

Forward-looking statements:

This document contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current views about future events. The words “anticipate,” “assume,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” ”can,” “could,” “plan,” “project,” “should” and similar expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to many risks and uncertainties, including an adverse development of global economic conditions, in particular a decline of demand in our most important markets; a deterioration of our refinancing possibilities on the credit and financial markets; events of force majeure including natural disasters, pandemics, acts of terrorism, political unrest, armed conflicts, industrial accidents and their effects on our sales, purchasing, production or financial services activities; changes in currency exchange rates, customs and foreign trade provisions; a shift in consumer preferences towards smaller, lower-margin vehicles; a possible lack of acceptance of our products or services which limits our ability to achieve prices and adequately utilize our production capacities; price increases for fuel or raw materials; disruption of production due to shortages of materials, labour strikes or supplier insolvencies; a decline in resale prices of used vehicles; the effective implementation of cost-reduction and efficiency-optimization measures; the business outlook for companies in which we hold a significant equity interest; the successful implementation of strategic cooperations and joint ventures; changes in laws, regulations and government policies, particularly those relating to vehicle emissions, fuel economy and safety; the resolution of pending governmental investigations or of investigations requested by governments and the outcome of pending or threatened future legal proceedings; and other risks and uncertainties, some of which are described under the heading “Risk and Opportunity Report” in the current Annual Report or in the current Interim Report. If any of these risks and uncertainties materializes or if the assumptions underlying any of our forward-looking statements prove to be incorrect, the actual results may be materially different from those we express or imply by such statements. We do not intend or assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements since they are based solely on the circumstances at the date of publication.

Mercedes-Benz Group at a glance

Mercedes-Benz Group AG is one of the world's most successful automotive companies. With Mercedes-Benz AG, the Group is one of the leading global suppliers of premium and luxury cars and vans. Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG offers financing, leasing, car subscription and car rental, fleet management, digital services for charging and payment, insurance brokerage, as well as innovative mobility services. The company founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history by inventing the automobile in 1886. As a pioneer of automotive engineering, Mercedes-Benz sees shaping the future of mobility in a safe and sustainable way as both a motivation and obligation. The company's focus therefore remains on innovative and green technologies as well as on safe and superior vehicles that both captivate and inspire. Mercedes-Benz continues to invest systematically in the development of efficient powertrains and sets the course for an all-electric future: The brand with the three-pointed star pursues the goal to go all-electric, where market conditions allow. Shifting from electric-first to electric-only, the world’s pre-eminent luxury car company is accelerating toward an emissions-free and software-driven future. The company's efforts are also focused on the intelligent connectivity of its vehicles, autonomous driving and new mobility concepts as Mercedes-Benz regards it as its aspiration and obligation to live up to its responsibility to society and the environment. Mercedes-Benz sells its vehicles and services in nearly every country of the world and has production facilities in Europe, North and Latin America, Asia and Africa. In addition to Mercedes-Benz, the world's most valuable luxury automotive brand (source: Interbrand study, 20 Oct. 2021), Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach, Mercedes-EQ and Mercedes me as well as the brands of Mercedes-Benz Mobility: Mercedes-Benz Bank, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Athlon. The company is listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges (ticker symbol MBG). In 2021, the Group had a workforce of around 172,000 and sold 2.3 million vehicles. Group revenues amounted to €168.0 billion and Group EBIT to €29.1 billion.

Tobias Just, +49 711 17 41341, tobias.just@mercedes-benz.com
Edward Taylor, +49 176 30 94 1776, edward.taylor@mercedes-benz.com
Han Tjan, +1 212 909-9063, han.tjan@mercedes-benz.com
Andrea Berg, +1 917 667-2391, andrea.a.berg@mercedes-benz.com

Further information on Mercedes-Benz Group is available at:
group-media.mercedes-benz.com and group.mercedes-benz.com

Source: Mercedes-Benz Group AG