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Daimler profits slump as auto industry comes under pressure

FRANKFURT, Germany — Automaker Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, saw profit slump in 2019 and turned in a loss for the fourth quarter.

The weaker results announced Tuesday underlined the pressures on the global auto industry from economic headwinds and the need to invest in electric cars to meet tougher European Union limits on greenhouse gases. The company also saw deductions to earnings from regulatory troubles regarding the emissions of its diesel cars.

Net profit for the full year fell to 2.71 billion euros ($2.94 billion) from 7.58 billion euros. In the fourth quarter of the year the Stuttgart-based company lost 11 million euros, compared to a profit of 1.64 billion euros in the year-earlier quarter.

CEO Ola Kallenius said “we cannot be satisfied” with the results but added that the company was on track to cut costs and improve its earnings performance.

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