Two big European corporates have reported better than expected results. Daimler's second-quarter operating profit has jumped 54 percent to a record quarterly high and consumer goods Unilever has reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales. Ciara Lee looks at the reasons why.
Daimler's always been an upmarket car maker - but it took its Mercedes S-Class even higher up this year and it seems to have paid off. Second quarter operating profit at the Mercedes-owner jumped 54 percent to a record high, thanks to truck sales and new luxury car models. The Mercedeas-Maybach S600 is one of those. It retails at more than $200,000. And the Chinese are big fans. Daimler delivers 500 of them to China every month - and it's its biggest single market for the S-Class. That's inspite of an anti-corruption push which has floored sales of other luxury cars like Rolls Ryce. IG's Chris Beauchamp. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "Someone described it as the mother of all quarters, so it's impressive sales growth across the board there, firmly bucking the trend. Germany is claiming it's down to the brilliance of their engineering and certainly the brand element is there and really helping the firm to push on at the moment. So it is good to see it is an environment where companies can do very very well. Even with the economic and stock market uncertainty we're seeing in China." Another European giant also beat expectations. Unilever's second quarter sales were driven by gains in its home and personal care units. It supports the view that the company is recovering from a weak 2014. Unilever, which is becoming less of a food company and more reliant on products such as washing powders, shampoos and deodorants said sales rose 2.9 percent in the second quarter - 0.3 percent above analyst expectations. That boosted its shares by 2.3 percent. The company says it expects full-year sales growth to come in at the upper end of its previously stated goal of 2 to 4 percent.