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Mercedes-Benz released its 2021 financial results

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Mercedes-Benz Group made public its 2021 financial results today, highlighting accelerated transition in Electric and Luxury segment and gave some details what it expects in the automotive semiconductor market this year.


Mercedes-Benz Group AG (ticker symbol: MBG) achieved strong financial results for the fiscal year 2021 ended December 31, while accelerating its strategy as a pure-play manufacturer of desirable cars and vans.

In 2021, good product mix, solid net pricing, continued cost-discipline and favourable used car performance lifted the adjusted Return on Sales (RoS) for the Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans division to 12.7% in the full year, even as the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor supply chain bottlenecks continued to affect the business. Since 2019 fixed costs at Mercedes-Benz Cars have fallen by 16% while revenue per unit improved by 26% to an average €49,800 per vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz achieved several technological milestones last year: The company introduced four battery electric vehicles and attained the first internationally valid system approval for SAE-Level 3 automated driving. The EQS electric flagship received strong reviews and orders for the vehicle are currently at around 20,000 of which 3,600 came in January 2022. Mercedes-Benz is preparing to roll out a raft of new electric vehicles this year, including the EQE and EQS SUV.

”2021 was a year of strategic progress for Mercedes-Benz. Three numbers illustrate how this transformation is gaining traction: Top-end vehicle sales rose by 30%, sales of electric cars surged 64%, and our adjusted EBIT increased by 105%. That’s a strong demonstration of the potential of this brand and this team.” said Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. “With a clear agenda for this year we are confident about 2022. Aside from the relentless focus on cost efficiency and supply chain management, our strategic priorities are: Scaling electric vehicles, accelerating our car-software plans and growing our luxury business.”

On February 1, 2022 the previous Daimler AG was renamed Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Daimler Mobility AG became Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG. The former Daimler Trucks & Buses division was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on December 10, 2021. Figures within financial statements have therefore been split into continued and discontinued operations. In line with the newly formed Group divisions, the reporting structure and the prior-year figures have been adjusted accordingly. All figures are preliminary and unaudited.

In the fourth quarter, the company realized a one-time Group EBIT gain of €9.2 billion from deconsolidation, due to the spin-off of the Daimler commercial vehicle business. This one-time EBIT effect has no impact on the cash flow and no material impact on taxes. It is the perspective of the management that this is a pure valuation effect and has therefore been excluded from the basis for determining the dividend proposal.

Mercedes-Benz Group

Mercedes-Benz Group revenue reached €168 billion (2020: €154.3 billion). The share from continuing operations was €133.9 billion (2020: €121.8 billion). Group EBIT was €29.1 billion (2020: €6.6 billion), thereof the share from continuing operations was €16.0 billion (2020: €6.1 billion). Adjusted EBIT, reflecting the underlying business, was €19.2 billion (2020: €8.6 billion). Group net profit was €23.4 billion (2020: €4.0 billion). The share from continuing operations was €11.1 billion (2020: €4.0 billion).

In 2021, net profit excluding the deconsolidation result rose to €14.2 billion (2020: €4.0 billion). Earnings per share, excluding the deconsolidation result, rose by 280% to €12.89 (2020: €3.39).


Outlook

Semiconductors

Mercedes-Benz expects that supply constraints related to semiconductors will continue to impact the market in 2022. Visibility on semiconductor supply is improving and capacity is gradually increasing. However, there is a high level of volatility and selective bottlenecks remain. Therefore, it is currently not possible to give a prognosis about when the semiconductor supply bottlenecks will be cleared. The company expects the situation to stabilize in 2022 compared to last year. In line with the Mercedes-Benz strategy, deliberate prioritization of top-end and electric vehicles continues.

Furthermore, deep sourcing and interaction has been intensified with direct suppliers, as well as with the semiconductor suppliers, in order to make the system more robust in the future. Together with suppliers, Mercedes-Benz is continually working to secure capacity and develop the technology to enable new chip generations. This includes more concrete agreements on supply quantities, extended planning cycles, as well as the development of a safety stock at various points of the supply chain and multiple supply sources.

Mercedes-Benz Cars

Demand for Mercedes-Benz products remains very strong. However, due to uncertainties surrounding supply chain constraints, a cautious approach has been taken to forecasting sales. The company expects unit sales of Mercedes-Benz Cars to be slightly above 2021. The sales mix is expected to remain favourable, with top-end vehicle sales increasing by more than 10%. Net pricing is anticipated to improve further, but it will not fully offset the raw material headwinds which are expected to increase in 2022 compared with last year.

Used car results are expected to normalise but remain on a good level. Investments into property, plant and equipment as well as research and development costs are expected to be slightly above the prior year, mainly because of investments into vehicle platforms MMA and AMG.EA. The cash conversion rate for Mercedes-Benz Cars will be in the corridor of 0.8 and 1.0. Mercedes-Benz Cars expects an adjusted return on sales of 11.5% to 13% for the year 2022.

Mercedes-Benz Vans

Mercedes-Benz Vans expects sales to be slightly above last year’s level. Despite strong demand Mercedes-Benz Vans has, in line with its cars division, again chosen a cautious approach to forecasting sales, given the supply-chain uncertainties faced by the industry. Investments into property, plant and equipment and research and development expenditures will be significantly above last year, when expenditures were relatively low.

A new fully-fledged electric platform to cover all segments, VAN.EA, is being developed to hit markets by the mid of this decade. At the same time, existing combustion platforms are being upgraded. The adjusted cash conversion rate is expected to be 0.6 to 0.8. Mercedes-Benz Vans anticipates an adjusted return on sales of 8% to 10% for 2022.

Mercedes-Benz Mobility

For Mercedes-Benz Mobility the adjusted return on equity corridor is expected to be 16% to 18%, which is significantly lower than in 2021. This is due to an expected normalisation of cost of credit risks and headwinds in the form of slightly higher market interest rates in 2022. Furthermore, last year’s results benefited from a positive one-time effect from a legal case provision.

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