European Corporate Roundup for Friday

Features Dow Jones Newswires

European corporate news is in focus Friday, with auto makers Daimler and Volvo reporting mixed profit updates.

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German auto maker Daimler, which produces the Mercedes-Benz brand of luxury cars, reported a sharp fall in quarterly profit as its flagship car was hammered by airbag-related recalls and the cost of fixing emissions controls on diesel vehicles.

Net income fell 17% to EUR2.27 billion ($2.69 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30 from EUR2.73 billion the prior year, slammed by costs linked to the diesel fix and currency fluctuations.

Earnings before interest and taxes--the measure most closely watched by investors--fell to EUR3.46 billion from EUR4.04 billion the previous year, pulled lower by a 22% drop at Mercedes and despite a strong rise in truck earnings.

Earnings were also hit by costs from the launches of Mercedes' new flagship S-Class model, X-Class light-utility vehicles and the company's first electric heavy truck.

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The biggest impact on earnings, however, came from mounting costs related to the industry's diesel-emissions woes.

"Around 60% of the vehicles affected in Germany have been updated," Chief Finance Officer Bodo Uebber told reporters on a conference call.

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Swedish truck maker Volvo reported a forecast-beating increase in third-quarter net profit, boosted by rising truck orders and a continued rebound in its construction-equipment unit.

Overall demand was stellar during the quarter, with truck orders up 32% on the year and construction equipment orders up by 45%.

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Sweden's Ericsson said that net loss widened sharply in the third quarter amid increasing restructuring charges and provisions as the company continued to navigate tough markets and a huge strategic shakeup.

The supplier of wireless-communications gear reported a net loss for the three months ended Sept. 30 of 4.45 billion Swedish kronor ($547.5 million) compared with a loss of SEK233 million a year earlier, missing analysts' expectations for a loss of SEK1.35 billion, according to a FactSet poll. Revenue was down 6.4% at SEK47.8 billion.

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Metro, the German wholesale and food retail company, said that sales in the fourth quarter rose modestly on a like-for-like basis due to positive acquisition effects and a strong online business.

Sales in the fourth quarter rose 0.5% to 9.2 billion euros ($10.88 billion) compared with EUR9.1 billion last year. This rise was offset by currency effects, with sales in the local currency increasing by 1.6%.

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TomTom reported a swing to a loss for the three months ended Sept. 30 and said that it has reduced its revenue guidance for the year.

The Dutch company posted a net loss of 5.3 million euros ($6.3 million) for the third quarter, compared with a net profit of EUR595,000 a year earlier, citing a one-off charge of EUR15.4 million related to the restructuring of its consumer-sports division.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 20, 2017 04:45 ET (08:45 GMT)