Oct.24 - German automotive group Daimler lifted its fourth-quarter profit forecast after a rejuvenated model range and cost-cuts in the core luxury car business helped it to post better than expected results. Ciara Sutton reports.
Continuing its recent return to form, Daimler posted a rise in third quarter profit of around 15 percent, beating analyst expectations. Shares in the maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles rose on the news. Cost cutting has helped, as have new models which pushed up company's sales. Daimler says it's already achieved 70 percent of its planned cuts for the year at its Mercedes-Benz luxury cars division. Daimler Trucks, the group's commercial vehicles business, has achieved around 60 percent. But the effects of the euro zone debt crisis still cast a cloud over the region's car industry. The group forecasts its full-year underlying profit will drop about 8 percent - roughly in line with market expectations. But it continues to gain ground on BMW and Audi. German car companies have generally weathered the crisis well, thanks to strong demand from emerging markets, helping steer the sector back on course.