Ford Reports $5.8 Billion Loss

Company says it needs to restate earnings since 2001.

Ford Motor Co. posted a hefty quarterly net loss of $5.8 billion and said it would have to restate earnings since 2001. Ford's loss for the third quarter ended last month included heavy provisions for its hard-hitting restructuring plan, which foresees plant closures and thousands of job cuts to restore profitability. With those provisions omitted, its loss came to $1.2 billion, compared to $191 million before exceptional items a year earlier.

"The performance from continuing operations primarily reflected operating challenges in the company's North America, Asia Pacific and Africa, and Premier Automotive Group (PAG) operations," Ford said in a statement. Ford's newly appointed chief executive, Alan Mulally, said the results were "clearly unacceptable."

"We are committed to dealing decisively with the fundamental business reality that customer demand is shifting to smaller, more efficient vehicles," he said. "Our focused priorities are to restructure aggressively to operate profitably at lower volumes, and to accelerate the development of new, more efficient vehicles that customers really want."

In a surprise move, Ford also announced that it would recalculate results from 2001 to the third quarter of 2006 "to correct the accounting for certain derivative transactions" by its consumer credit division. Ford said that it had discovered that since 2001, certain interest rate swaps conducted by Ford Motor Credit Co. to hedge interest rate risk to the group's debt were accounted incorrectly.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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