GM Chairman Expresses Confidence a Year After Bankruptcy

Points to Q1 profit -- first time company was in the black in three years

Ed Whitacre, GM Chairman, expressed confidence on June 29 in the automaker's future nearly a year after it emerged from a government-financed bankruptcy filing. GM has made significant progress in the past year as it focuses on the "clear and simple vision" to "design, build and sell the world's best vehicles," Whitacre told analysts gathered at the automaker's technical center.

He listed a host of accomplishments, including growing share in key emerging markets, restructuring global operations, slashing costs in North America and Europe, and revamping GM's product lineup.

"Maybe most importantly, we're making money," Whitacre said in reference to a first quarter profit of $865 million which brought GM back into the black for the first time in three years.

"I feel good about how far we've come in one year and I'm confident we're going to go a lot further in the months and years ahead of us," Whitacre told the day-long analyst conference.

Whitacre and other GM executives declined to comment on the timing or structure of a much-anticipated initial public stock offering. The U.S. Treasury Department said earlier this month that the IPO would not occur before October.

The Treasury provided about $50 billion in financing to GM and owns 60.8% of its stock. It is reportedly expected to reduce its stake by 20%.

Canada, which extended $9.1 billion in loans as part of the bailout, has an 11.7% stake in GM and a United Auto Workers union retiree healthcare trust fund holds 17.5%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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