STUTTGART (Bloomberg) -- Daimler today posted a 45 percent surge in fourth-quarter profit as customers scooped up the new Mercedes-Benz CLA and revamped S-class flagship sedan.
Earnings before interest and taxes from ongoing operations rose to 2.53 billion euros ($3.42 billion) from 1.74 billion euros a year earlier, Daimler said in a statement. Revenue increased 7.6 percent to 32.1 billion euros.
Daimler forecast today a "significant" increase in 2014 operating profit from continuing operations from the 7.92 billion euros achieved in 2013 on demand for the new GLA compact SUV and redesigned C-class sedan, Mercedes's best-selling model. Both models go on sale in Europe this spring.
"We expect significant growth in all our vehicle business units in 2014," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said at the group's annual results press conference today.
The company expanded car sales faster than Volkswagen Group's Audi in the final months of 2013 and for the first time since 2010 posted a higher delivery growth rate last year than BMW.
Zetsche has vowed that Mercedes will regain the top spot in luxury-auto sales by the end of the decade after losing it to BMW in 2005 and ceding second place to Audi in 2011.