Chrysler Trims Losses in 2010, Sees Profit Ahead

Company is raising full-year 2011 target to $200-500 million net income on net revenues of more than $55 billion

A year and a half after emerging from a government-supported bankruptcy reorganization, Chrysler Group reported a net loss of $652 million for all of last year, compared with a $3.8 billion loss in 2009.

In the fourth quarter, the Chrysler said it shed $199 million, slightly worse than the $197 million loss in the same period a year ago.

But on an adjusted operating profit level, the company said it returned to profit of $763 million for the full year and $198 million in the final quarter.

Chrysler noted the operating profits came in higher than its recent forecast, attributing the improvement to a better mix and pricing of vehicles, and improved efficiencies and quality.

For all of 2010, net revenues rose to $41.9 billion, while fourth-quarter revenues fell 2.3% from the third quarter to $10.8 billion as the company launched production of 11 new vehicles.

U.S. market share for 2010 rose to 9.2% from 8.8% in 2009. In Canada, market share jumped two percentage points to 13% for last year.

"The company has lived up to its promise to launch 16 all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the past 12 months," said CEO Sergio Marchionne. "Given the positive comments we have received to date, it can safely be said that what Chrysler delivered last year, on both the product and financial fronts, surpassed many expectations."

Chrysler said it was raising its full-year 2011 target to $200-500 million net income on net revenues of more than $55 billion.

The company is expected to launch an initial public stock offering in the second half of 2011.

Italy's Fiat increased its ownership of Chrysler to 25% earlier this month and said it may boost its holding to 51% before the IPO, which would help the U.S. government wind down its 8% stake.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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