Mercedes-maker Daimler eyes 2021 rebound

Mercedes-maker Daimler sees a better year ahead.

It said Thursday (February 18) that it was expecting big gains in sales and operating profit.

The company also says that by the end of the year it will make up for a production shortfall caused by a shortage of chips.

Though the silicon drought will crimp sales in the first quarter.

The bullish outlook comes after Daimler confirmed full-year pretax earnings of almost 8 billion dollars.

Strong demand in China is among the drivers now.

Daimler's chief executive called the recovery there 'remarkable'.

Mercedes sales in the country jumped 22% in the fourth quarter.

Like rivals, Daimler is also racing to bring more electric vehicles to market.

In 2020 its sales of electrified cars almost quadrupled on the year before.

Thursday's news sent shares in the firm as much as 2.5% higher in early trading.