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February 7, 2013 2:30 PM, EST
Daimler’s 4Q Truck Sales Fall; Full-Year Sales Improve
John Sommers II for TT

Daimler AG said Thursday its truck unit’s earnings and revenue fell in the fourth quarter, but sales rose 9% last year, boosted by growth in North America and Asia.

Daimler Trucks’ fourth-quarter earnings before interest and taxes fell 29% to about $406 million.

Revenue slipped 6% to $10.5 billion. Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler reports its earnings in euros.

The truck unit’s full-year EBIT fell 9% to $2.3 billion from a year earlier, while revenue rose 9% to $42.5 billion.

Daimler Trucks — which makes Freightliner and Western Star brands in North America — sold 462,000 vehicles last year, up 9% from 2011.

“In a difficult market environment, Daimler Trucks was able to further increase its unit sales and revenue, with particularly strong growth in the [North America] region and Asia,” the company said in a statement.

Daimler said that “worldwide demand for medium and heavy trucks can be expected to increase perceptibly in 2013,” driven by growth in China.

It forecast a decline of 5% to 10% In North America “as a result of uncertainty about the country’s fiscal problems.” The company said last week it may reduce U.S. truck plant output and lay off up to 1,300 workers.

The company also said it expects the European truck market to fall by up to 5% “due to the ongoing weak economic environment.”