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Daimler: first-quarter profit falls on Covid-19 effects

( - Daimler's first-quarter operating profit collapsed over 77%, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic hammered the performance of the owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at the German automotive group plunged to 617 million euros in the January-to-March period, Daimler said on Thursday, compared to 2.8 billion euros a year ago.

The car and truck manufacturer said the reevaluation of its forecasts for the fiscal year 2020 has been "complex" as the effect of the pandemic on customer demand, supply chains and production cannot be assessed with certainty.

However, the company now expects total unit sales for 2020 to be below their level last year, meaning that annual revenue should also be below last year's level.

Daimler said it expects group EBIT for 2020 to be below its level a year ago.

Even so, the shares seemed to be resisting - up 0.3% on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange after these preliminary results.

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