Mercedes-Benz EQS model year 2024.

Q1 marked by solid cash generation and Top-End model changeovers

1st Quarter Results 2024.

Q2 2024 Q1 2024 Q3 2023 Q2 2023 Q1 2023 Q3 2022 more

April 30, 2024 – Mercedes-Benz Group AG reported Free Cash Flow from the industrial business at a solid €2.23 billion (Q1 2023: €2.16 billion) in the first quarter with strong cash conversion including positive working capital developments.

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Group Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) totalled €3.9 billion (Q1 2023: €5.5 billion), reflecting lower raw material prices, tight cost control and a strong performance at Mercedes-Benz Vans. These effects partially offset lower sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars where supplier bottlenecks and model changeovers in the Top-End segment also led to a less favourable model mix. Group revenue came in at €35.9 billion (Q1 2023: €37.5 billion).

Harald Wilhelm, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. Finance & Controlling/Mercedes-Benz Mobility.

Mercedes-Benz delivered a solid Free Cash Flow in the first quarter thanks to our disciplined go-to-market approach, our desirable products and despite the volatile economic environment and external challenges. While we remain vigilant about the global macroeconomic and geopolitical outlook, we confirm our full-year financial targets for 2024.

Harald Wilhelm
Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. Finance & Controlling/Mercedes-Benz Mobility
Harald Wilhelm, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. Finance & Controlling/Mercedes-Benz Mobility.

Investments, Free Cash Flow, Net Liquidity

The Free Cash Flow from the Industrial Business in the first quarter reached €2.23 billion (Q1 2023: €2.16 billion), supported by an adjusted Cash Conversion rate of 1.0 at Mercedes-Benz Cars. The Net Liquidity from the Industrial Business rose by 6% to a strong and very comfortable level of €33.6 billion (end of 2023: €31.7 billion). This included a share buyback of approximately €300 million in the first quarter. The Group’s investments in property, plant and equipment in the first quarter totalled €0.7 billion (Q1 2023: €0.8 billion). Research and development expenditure fell to €2.2 billion (Q1 2023: €2.5 billion).

Divisional results

Mercedes-Benz Cars Close

Earnings Before Interest and Taxes at Mercedes-Benz Cars reached €2.5 billion (Q1 2023: €4.1 billion) and resulted in an adjusted Return on Sales of 9.0% (Q1 2023: 14.8%) mainly due to a temporary decline in volumes and model transitions in the Top-End segment as well as higher lifecycle management costs to keep products at the cutting edge. Top-End vehicles were constrained by model changeovers of the G-Class as well as the Mercedes-AMG derivatives of the E-Class and GLC, as well as supply-chain bottlenecks. Mercedes-Benz Cars sales reached 463,000 units (-8%) in the first quarter, with solid results in all regions except Asia. Despite a decline in S-Class sales, it remains the undisputed leader in all key regions.

Overall, pricing remained at a high level in Q1. Sales are expected to increase in the coming quarters with the Top-End vehicle mix expected to improve in the second half of the year. The EV adoption rate has slowed across the industry. In the transition from ICE to BEV vehicles, Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrids are expected to play an important role. In Q1 Mercedes-Benz initiated BEAT26, an efficiency program to lower material costs in procurement, in close collaboration with its suppliers.

Mercedes-Benz Vans Close

Mercedes-Benz Vans posted a strong start into the year with healthy net pricing supported by strong product substance leading to very good financial results. The adjusted Return on Sales for Mercedes-Benz Vans rose to 16.3% (Q1 2023: 15.6%) thanks to increased global sales (+7%) driven by positive product structure, especially from commercial Vans (+11%). Regionally, the important markets China (+27%) and the United States (+15%) contributed to the strong Q1 sales. Revenue increased by 6% to €4.9 billion (Q1 2023: €4.6 billion) in the first quarter and the Earnings Before Interest and Taxes increased by 22% to €933 million (Q1 2023: €762 million). BEV sales declined but are expected to rise with the full availability of the newly launched facelifts of the EQV, eVito and the new eSprinter.

Mercedes-Benz Mobility Close

Compared to the first quarter of the previous year, Mercedes-Benz Mobility almost doubled its new business volume for BEVs to €2.0 billion (Q1 2023: €1.2 billion). Overall, at the end of March 2024, the contract volume amounted to €134.7 billion and is thus at the same level as year-end 2023 (FY 2023: €135.0 billion). At €14.8 billion, the new business of Mercedes-Benz Mobility is also on prior-year level (Q1 2023: €14.7 billion). The adjusted EBIT decreased to €279 million mainly due to a lower interest margin and higher cost of credit risk (Q1 2023: €539 million). As a result, the adjusted return on equity (RoE) decreased to 8.5% (Q1 2023: 15.6%).

Share buyback execution update

On 21 February 2024, Mercedes-Benz Group AG resolved to implement a share buyback policy. Based on this policy, the future Free Cash Flow from the Industrial Business (as available post potential smallscale M&A) generated beyond the approximately 40% dividend payout ratio of Group Net Income shall be used to fund share buybacks with the purpose of redeeming shares. As part of a buyback programme announced in February 2023, Mercedes-Benz Group AG intends to acquire own shares worth up to €4 billion (not including incidental costs) on the stock exchange and to then cancel them. Repurchases for this programme are well on track. A further €3 billion share buyback programme, announced in February 2024, is now scheduled to begin in May 2024 and then run in parallel with the buyback program announced in February 2023. Both buyback programs are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025. By the third quarter 2024, buybacks are expected to have reached a total of €4 billion and to then reach up to €7 billion in Q1 2025 before the Annual General Meeting that year.

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