German auto giant Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz vehicles, said Thursday that profits rose strongly in the third quarter, driven by record sales and one-off gains from divestments.
Daimler said in a statement that its net profit rose by 49 percent to 2.735 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in the period from July to September, slightly ahead of analysts' expectations.
Underlying or operating profit grew by 21 percent to 2.787 billion euros on a 10-percent rise in sales to 33.122 billion euros, Daimler said.
Unit sales were up 7.0 percent at 637,423 vehicles, with sales of Mercedes-Benz cars alone rising by 9.0 percent to 431,041 units.
"Our strategy is paying off. We are growing profitably and look to the future with optimism also beyond the full year," said chief executive Dieter Zetsche.
"In all our divisions, both the product offensives and the efficiency programmes are taking effect. We are confident that we will achieve the targets we have set on a sustained basis."
Third-quarter profits were boosted by a windfall gain of just over 1.0 billion euros from the sale of the shares in Rolls-Royce Power Systems Holding (RRPSH), Daimler added.
Looking ahead to the full year, the carmaker confirmed its targets for a "significant" increase in both sales and earnings in 2014.