The newspaper cited documents it obtained from the liquidated Smart GmbH in B?blingen, Germany, as the source for financial information. DaimlerChrysler has not disclosed profit or loss details for brands within the Mercedes Car group.
Without the burden of the Smart brand, the Mercedes group would have achieved a record operating profit of more than 4 billion euros last year, or $5.34 billion at current exchange rates. Instead, the group posted a 2.4 billion euros, or $3.20 billion, operating profit.
DaimlerChrysler has said that restructuring of the Smart cost 1.2 billion euros in 2005. Experts have speculated that the brand was hit with heavy losses, though.
A DaimlerChrysler spokesman did not comment when asked about the report, according to a German press agency report. But the spokesman emphasized that the Smart brand will be profitable for the first time this year.
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