Fiat reported higher than expected profits of 435 million euro in the first quarter, boosted by the strength of its U.S. tractor and combine business, CNH Global NV.
CNH saw an increased demand for its tractors and construction equipment, due to the higher commodity prices for farmers and more building in the Americas. Revenue for CNH was 3.8 billion euro, up 24.8%, but its Iveco truck unit saw a 10% decline in revenue to 1.9 billion euro.
Net industrial debt rose, as “strong cash flow from operating activities only partially compensated for expected seasonal working capital absorption… and sustained capital expenditures, especially at CNH,” the company said.
Fiat Industrial declared net profit in the first three months was 207 million euro, up 70% on the year compared to 114 million euro, and more than the 140 million euro forecast in an analyst poll. Fiat’s revenue target for 2012 is around 25 billion euro, and it forecasts a trading profit of between 1.9 billion and 2.1 billion euro. Fiat Industrial shares were 6.9% higher at 1541 GMT, after trading higher most of the day.