GM Q1 Earnings Plunge on Europe Troubles

GM said its key U.S. and China markets remained strong, with global vehicle deliveries rising by about 100,000 units to 2.3 million in the period to March 31.

General Motors' earnings fell by nearly two-thirds in the first quarter as the company's European operations racked up losses due to the eurozone crisis, the company said Thursday.

Net income fell to $1.35 billion from $3.42 billion a year earlier, after the company lost $300 million in its European operations.

Basic earnings per share sank to 64 cents from $2.09, or 60 cents on a diluted basis.

General Motors (IW 500: 5) said its key U.S. and China markets remained strong, with global vehicle deliveries rising by about 100,000 units to 2.3 million in the period to March 31.

The company set a sales record in China in the quarter, said GM CEO Dan Akerson.

But other areas, especially Europe, held growth back.

"New products are starting to make a difference in South America, but Europe remains a work in progress," said Akerson.

Revenues were higher -- $37.8 billion compare to $36.2 billion.

In the North American market, GM said earnings were up about 30% to $1.7 billion.

Despite an 8% fall in U.S. sales in April -- not covered by the newest earnings report -- GM raised its annual forecast for the total U.S. market, including itself and other automakers, by 500,000 vehicles to between 14 million and 14.5 million vehicles.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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