GM profit up on good US demand and improvement across Europe

City A.M. Reporter
GENERAL Motors posted better-than-expected third-quarter profit yesterday as the US carmaker’s new lineup of pickup trucks and other revamped models boosted North American results, and revenue rose in Europe for the first time in two years.

The strong showing in North and South America and the improvement in Europe offset the decline in Asian markets outside China, including India and Southeast Asia.

GM finance chief Dan Ammann said the European unit of the USA’s biggest car company remains on track to achieve its target of breaking even in the next year or so.

GM has lost money in Europe for 13 straight years.

“The story in Europe overall is really consistent with the plan we laid out,” he told reporters. “Our overall objective of getting to break-even by mid-decade, clearly we’re well on track toward that.”

GM recently said it would shift the reporting of its profitable Russian market to the European unit from the international operations, but Ammann said that does not change the break-even timetable.

Excluding one-time items related to the repurchase of preferred stock and an impairment of goodwill in the company’s South Korean operations, GM earned 96 cents a share

GM's third-quarter net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $757m (£471m), or 45 cents a share, compared with $1.48bn, or 89 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. But operating earnings rose almost 15 per cent to $2.64bn. Revenue rose 3.7 per cent from last year to $38.98bn, but that was short of the $39.49bn analysts had expected.