GM in its first quarterly profit for three years

GENERAL Motors has reported its first quarterly profit in nearly three years.

Cost-cutting and strong sales of new models helped it make $865m (£600m) in the first three months of 2010, it said yesterday.

This compares with a $6bn loss in the same period a year earlier.

GM, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, has closed 14 factories. It has also axed more than 65,000 jobs in the US, as well as ditching unprofitable brands such as Hummer, Saab and Saturn.

GM came out of bankruptcy protection in July 2009.

Last month, it emerged the firm had repaid $8.1bn in loans it had received from the US and Canadian governments. But GM, which owns the Vauxhall and Opel brands in Europe, still owes $45.3bn to the US and $8.1bn to Canada.

That money was received when the US and Canadian governments took large stakes in the company. Sales at GM rose to $31.5bn in the first three months of the year, up from $22.4bn in the first quarter of 2009.