Mercedes-Benz Korea paid 138 billion won in dividends to its largest shareholders, including its German parent company, in 2019, which was a record amount in its history.
According to audit reports and business reports submitted by Mercedes-Benz Korea and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Korea on April 5, the two companies' 2019 dividend payouts increased by 32.4 percent on year to 138 billion won, with Mercedes-Benz Korea accounting for 78,3 billion won and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Korea the remaining 59.7 billion won.
In particular, Mercedes-Benz Korea's dividend payouts increased 40.7 percent from the previous year. Its dividend payouts over the past five years totaled 284 billion won. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Korea paid 108.2 billion won to the largest shareholder for two years from 2018. Shareholders of Mercedes-Benz Korea are Mercedes-Benz (51 percent) and Star Auto Holdings (49 percent), while those of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Korea are Mercedes-Benz Asia GMBH (80 percent) and Star Auto Holdings (20 percent). Star Auto Holdings is the world's largest Benz dealer and a subsidiary of Malaysian-Chinese business tycoon Lei Shing Hong. In 2019, Mercedes-Benz received 87.8 billion won in dividends and Star Auto Holdings, 50.3 billion.
These dividends could be paid thanks to increased sales in 2019. Mercedes-Benz Korea sold 78,133 units in 2019, an increase of 10.4 percent from the previous year, and ranked No. 1 in the Korean imported car market for four consecutive years. The E-Class models, which cost more than 70 million won per unit, sold more than 100,000 units in three years after its launch.
Dividends from Korea are even more eye-opening as the Daimler Group's head office is suffering sluggish earnings. The Daimler Group's net profit fell 64 percent in 2019, but Benz Korea's sales in 2019 were 5,437.8 trillion won, 21.5 percent higher than the previous year. Its operating profit was 2180 billion won, up 40.9 percent over the previous year. The dividends were the largest ever, but donations increased 14.5 percent to just three billion won.