Under the company's profit-sharing scheme, Daimler employees are going to receive up to €5,400 ($5,821), the automaker announced on Thursday. According to a press release, this was jointly agreed by the Board of Management and the General Works Council.
The bonus applies to roughly 130,000 employees who are bound by collective bargaining agreements in Germany. They will receive it with their April pay.
At the end of 2016, Daimler had 282,488 employees working worldwide compared to 284,015 in the previous year. In Brazil and the U.S., the company cut back on jobs. In Germany, the number of employees remained almost stable at 170,034 compared to 170,454 in 2015.
A profit-sharing scheme for Daimler workers, officially dubbed tariff-scale employees, has been in place at the company since 1997. The bonus is calculated on the basis of a formula which links earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) with the return on sales.
The company's operational profit of €12.9 billion ($13.9 billion) for 2016 was lower than the corresponding figure of €13.2 billion for 2015. Therefore this year's profit-sharing bonus is slightly lower than last year's bonus of €5,650, yet it still represents the second-highest bonus in the company's history.
On Thursday, the firm was only able to give a lukewarm forecast for its 2017 earnings outlook. Profits will rise only “slightly,” it said, announcing that adjusted earnings before interest and tax rose 3 percent to €3.6 billion in the fourth quarter. Experts put the forecast down to its aggressive spending on developing next-generation cars, including autonomous vehicles.