HAMBURG -- Daimler expects to hit targets for a small increase in earnings this year, CEO Dieter Zetsche said, counting on "profitable growth" at its Mercedes-Benz unit.
Daimler has forecast the group's adjusted full-year operating profit (EBIT) to slightly beat 2015 levels, with higher earnings at Mercedes cars, vans and bus operations seen offsetting a decline in trucks.
Sales of Mercedes-branded cars jumped 12 percent in September to 211,286 vehicles, the unit's best-ever monthly result, with nine-month deliveries up by the same margin to a record 1.54 million.
"We are on a very good track," Zetsche told reporters in Hamburg on Tuesday. "I can confirm that our guidance is valid."
Mercedes is "within reach" of its goal to become the leading premium automaker in terms of volume and profitability by 2020, Zetsche said, as the automaker looks set to outsell German rivals BMW brand and Audi this year.