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Daimler reaffirms 2012 earnings target

BERLIN (AP) -- Daimler AG is reaffirming its forecast that earnings will be steady this year even though its core Mercedes-Benz Cars unit saw deliveries rise in the first quarter.

Daimler said ahead of its annual general meeting on Wednesday that Mercedes-Benz Cars sold more than 340,000 vehicles in the January-March period — a 12 percent increase compared with a year earlier. It said its trucks division saw sales rise 20 percent to 107,000.

The company says it expects total unit sales to increase "significantly" in 2012 and revenues to grow but that it is still targeting the 2011 level of pretax earnings, €9 billion ($12 billion).

Daimler says global car markets should grow by 4 percent this year. CEO Dieter Zetsche says he hopes Mercedes will do better than that.