Mixed news from Germany’s Daimler as its profit rebounded but was less than expected.
Fourth-quarter earnings in 2010 before interest and tax – the figures analysts focus on most – came in at just under 1.6 billion euros, lower than the forecast of just over two billion.
For all of 2010 net profit was 4.5 billion euros, compared with a 2.6 billion euro loss in 2009.
Chief executive Dieter Zetsche said Daimler managed an excellent comeback last year and he credited strong demand from China as well as a recovery in car and truck sales in Europe and the US.
He pointed out that Mercedes S, E and C class models were market leaders in their segments and last year the company introduced half a dozen new models.
Daimler explained away the below forecast earnings by saying it boosted research and development spending last year by over 14 percent to almost five billion euros, focusing on “fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly technology.”
But its upbeat outlook failing to reassure investors and the shares fell 4.4 percent.