STUTTGART: German-American automaker DaimlerChrysler has released first quarter figures that show net profit at €1.97 billion ($2.67bn; £1.35bn), bettering analysts' €1.39bn expectations, and a significant improvement on €781 million in the year earlier period.

The maker of the luxury Mercedes marque has just offloaded its ailing North American division, Chrysler Group, in a $7.4bn (€5.4bn; £3.7bn) deal with US private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management (see full story, this issue).

DaimlerChrysler expects full year profits, before tax and interest, to reach €7bn, in addition to a small rise in sales from the 4.7 million vehicles it shifted during 2006.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff