General Motors drives forward as earnings rise

 
Adam Hignett
GM owns the Chevrolet brand
GENERAL Motors is set to mark its fifth consecutive year of profit by rewarding shareholders after expectation-busting earnings for the fourth quarter led the company to announce its intention for a 20 per cent increase to its dividend.

The five-year run of profits marks a strong turnaround for the company which in 2008 required a government bailout in the face of collapse; it was forced to restructure after a 2009 bankruptcy filing.

The main beneficiaries of General Motors’ success are set to be its own 48,000 united automobile workers (UAW) union members, who could each receive as much as $9,000 (£5,900), on 27 February.

The company recorded a pre-tax profit of $2.3bn in the quarter ending 31 December, up from $1.2bn over the same period the previous year.

Year-on-year profits, however, took a hit and declined from $7.5bn in 2013 to $4.2bn, mainly driven by one off factors such as $2.4bn of recall costs and a decline in European business leading to a loss of $1.4bn.

Revenue for the year remained steady at $156bn, up marginally from $155bn in 2013.

“A strong fourth quarter helped us deliver very good core operating results in 2014 despite significant challenges we and the industry faced,” said GM boss Mary Barra.

GM expects to raise the dividend to 36 cents per share in the second quarter.

Shares in GM closed up XX per cent yesterday.

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