GM reported fourth quarter profit up 89%, which would have been even higher hasn’t it been for the $700 million losses in Europe.

During the fourth quarter GM earned a net $892 million, compared with $472 million during the same period in 2011. The figures were thrown upwards by a turnaround in the South American market, were the automaker recovered from the 2011 loss to a $99 million profit, and the Asia-Africa region where earnings increased $100 million to $473 million.

For the entire 2012, the US automaker reported $4.86 billion in net income, a decrease of 36% compared with 2011, with special items boosting 2011 earnings but slashing almost $500 million from last year’s earnings.

“We recorded another solid year in 2012 as we grew the business, delivered a third straight year of profitability and took significant actions to put the company on a solid path for future growth,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and chief executive. “This year our priorities will be executing flawless new vehicle launches, controlling costs and delivering more vehicles to our customers at outstanding value.”

General Motors still sees the European economy as flat to slightly deteriorating. The company said it expects to break even in Europe by 2015-2016. In the third quarter, GM Europe posted an operating loss of $478 million, in line with what analysts had expected.


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