Daimler motors, thanks to China

German luxury carmaker Daimler said yesterday that its first-quarter profit had nearly doubled and that it was confident about the outlook for the rest of the year amid strong demand for itsMercedes-Benz cars and also heavy trucks.

Daimler's profit during the first three months of the year jumped to €1.18bn (£1.05bn) from €612m in the sameperiod of 2010.

Sales by the group gained 16.5 per cent to €24.7bn, the company said, in line with market expectations.

Daimler has the increasing wealth of China to thank for the improvement in its fortunes. Sales of its Mercedes-branded cars and sports utility vehicles were up by 82 per cent in the country, compared to only 4 per cent in Western Europe and North America.