Fiat posts Q2 gains

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Fiat Group recorded a return to second quarter profit today thanks to stronger trading across all businesses.

The Italian group, which controls Chrysler, says it had a strong top and bottom-line performance with revenues at (all figures CAN) $19.8 billion, good enough for a 12.5 per cent increase over last year’s figures.

Trading profit more than doubled to $873 million while net profit jumped to $18.1 billion.

Positive gains were most notably driven by Agricultural and Construction Equipment (CNH), which enjoyed revenues up 16 per cent to $4.4 billion thanks to positive performances in the Americas and secondary markets that more than offset weak market conditions for agricultural equipment in Europe, CIS states and Australia.

On the automotive end, Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) reported revenues of $9.9 billion (6.4 per cent) on deliveries of 554,300 cars and light commercial vehicles.

“A recovery in demand in the LCV segment and favorable currency movements more than compensated for the decline in passenger car volumes following the phase-out of eco-incentives in most key European markets,” Fiat said in a release.

FGA dipped in market share in Italy and Europe overall (30.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively), reflecting the fall in demand in the smaller car segments. In Brazil, Fiat maintained leadership with an overall share of 23.3 per cent.  
 
According to news reports, the company confirmed its 2010 targets, including break-even net profit, trading profit of between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion and revenues exceeding $67 billion, but said it was likely to revise the forecasts upward based on next quarter's earnings.

Fiat also said in a second release on Wednesday that its board had approved the plan to separate its industrial vehicle and auto businesses into two companies. The move will allow the group to “give birth” to a global automotive company that will incorporate Chrysler LCC.

This plan had been originally announced in April.

- With files from The Associated Press