Automaker Daimler AG says net profit rose 20 percent to (EURO)1.42 billion ($1.88 billion) in the first quarter despite a slip in earnings at its key Mercedes luxury car business.

Revenues rose 9 percent to (EURO)27.01 billion.

Divisional earnings slipped 3 percent at the Mercedes-Benz Car division, the company's biggest. Daimler said Friday that spending on expanded production capability and upcoming new vehicles weighed on the results, as did what it called temporarily weaker pricing in the crucial Chinese market.

Earnings were helped by a stronger performance from the company's financial services division and from accounting for its share in aerospace firm EADS.

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