December 29, 2014 / 10:13 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Daimler Trucks chief sees headwinds in emerging markets

* Daimler Trucks achieves sales, EBIT outlook for 2014

* Still targets return on sales of 8 pct

* Daimler sees no signs of turnaround in emerging markets (Adds board member comments about 2015 outlook)

By Ilona Wissenbach

FRANKFURT, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Daimler board member Wolfgang Bernhard said he does not expect a recovery in demand for trucks in emerging markets next year, despite low fuel prices, as the Stuttgart-based truck maker posted a 3 percent rise in deliveries in 2014.

“In the economically challenging markets we continue to see risks,” Bernhard said about expectations for the trucks market in 2015.

“We will not see a jump in demand in Brazil, the risks outweigh the opportunities,” he said in an interview released on Monday.

In Europe demand will continue to be sluggish, he said.

A recent fall in fuel prices has not had a significant impact on sales and is unlikely to change buying habits in the short term, Bernhard, who heads up Daimler’s trucks division, explained.

“I do not believe that short-term changes in the spot (fuel) prices will change the buying habits of our clients,” Bernhard said. “So far nobody believes that prices will stay low forever.”

In 2014 Daimler was able to increase deliveries 3 percent to nearly 500,000 trucks, the company said, as a 19 percent rise in deliveries in countries belonging to the North American Free Trade Agreement helped to offset an 11 percent slump in Europe.

Bernhard said that despite headwinds, his division had achieved a 2014 goal of reaching higher deliveries and a significant rise in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).

“We had a lot of headwinds in the market, which makes us particularly proud to achieve our goal. Despite all the negative effects, the earnings will be significantly above the prior year level,” Bernhard said.

In 2013, Daimler Trucks posted an EBIT from ongoing business of 1.753 billion euros ($2.14 billion).

Daimler is due to release full-year results on Feb. 5, 2015.

The trucks division continues to target a return on sales of 8 percent, Bernhard said.

Furthermore, he said Daimler was on track to achieve a targeted 1.6 billion euros in cost savings and efficiency gains from 2015 onward.

$1 = 0.8192 euros Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; writing by Edward Taylor; editing by Christoph Steitz and Jason Neely

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