Ford Feels Effects of European Slowdown in First-Quarter Earnings

The automaker's strength remained the recovering U.S. market, while it reported quarterly losses in its Asia Pacific-Africa and Europe divisions, and a sharp fall in Latin America profits.

Ford Motor Co. reported a 46% fall in net income for the first quarter to $1.4 billion despite surging U.S. sales.

Ford (IW 1000: 6) said higher tax expenses were to blame for much of the fall, but also lower sales volumes in Europe.

Earnings per share were 35 cents, down from 61 cents in the year-earlier quarter.

The company's strength remained the recovering U.S. market, while it reported quarterly losses in its Asia Pacific-Africa and Europe divisions, and a sharp fall in Latin America profits.

"First-quarter 2012 net income was affected by the impact of the higher tax expense compared to a year ago, resulting from the release of the tax-valuation allowance in fourth-quarter 2011," it said.

The automaker also cited lower operating results and the costs of worker buyouts.

"Lower wholesale volumes, reflecting in part weaker economic conditions in Europe, contributed to the decline from a year ago," it said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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