Daimler has today cut its dividend to €0.90 a share after 2019 earnings more than halved, weighed down by restructuring and legal charges in what amounts to the third profit warning for new chief executive Ola Kaellenius.
The German carmaker cut its dividend proposal from €3.25 a share in 2018.
Daimler said its net profit fell to €2.7 billion, down from €7.6 billion the year earlier, despite record deliveries of Mercedes cars that saw the brand retain its title as the world's top-selling premium automaker.
The Stuttgart-based carmaker said it would seek to cut administrative and personnel costs by more than €1.4 billion by the end of 2022 to help offset expenses from legal proceedings and investments in new technologies.
Daimler said it had booked charges of €4.2 billion related to diesel probes and legal proceedings, as well as €828m in restructuring expenses in its vans division, after Mercedes scrapped its X-Class pickup truck.
A further €405m in charges hit earnings after Daimler restructured its mobility services unit, the carmaker said.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) dropped to €4.3 billion from €11.1 billion in 2018. Net profit dropped to €2.7 billion from €7.6 billion the same time a year earlier.
Mercedes-Benz will launch an electric A-Class and an electric van this year, keeping investments into property, plants and equipment and research and development expenses at roughly the same level the previous year, Daimler said.
"Our goal is to ensure solid net liquidity to protect the necessary investments, and at the same time to pay attractive dividends," the company's chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm said.