Fiat net profit beats forecast as Europe lags

City A.M. Reporter
ITALIAN car maker Fiat, which holds a majority stake in Chrysler, said yesterday that revenue from mass market car sales in Europe fell 13.1 per cent in the first quarter, a shortfall that was more than compensated for by booming car sales in the US.

Its group trading profit including Chrysler was €866m (£707m), better than the €845m expected in an analyst consensus compiled by Fiat.

Chrysler’s strength offset declines in Europe, where Fiat posted a trading loss of €207m on its mass market brands, almost double the €106m loss it posted a year ago on a pro-forma basis.

Earlier in the day, Chrysler reported its best quarterly profit since its 2009 bankruptcy, with auto sales up 33 per cent at a quarterly net profit of $473m, up from a previous $116m.

Chrysler’s auto sales were led by its home US market, where it gained market share on a first-quarter sales jump of 36 per cent.

Quarterly profit jumped to $473m from $116m a year ago.

“Another positive quarter – built on sales gains that have surpassed the industry average – is affirmation that the Chrysler team is maintaining its focus,” said Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of both Chrysler and Italy’s Fiat.