Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted a 7-percent jump in operating profit in the third quarter of 2014 to EUR926 million ($1.18 billion). The result was lower than the average EUR940 million of eight analysts surveyed by Reuters, no thanks to weaker margins in North America as well as slowdown in Latin America.
The carmaker, however, surpassed analyst expectations for its revenues in the period, growing from EUR20.7 billion a year ago to EUR23.6 billion. At end of September 2014, FCA had a net industrial debt of EUR11.4 billion, compared to EUR9.7 billion at the end of June.
In May this year, Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne outlined plans to improve the carmaker’s fortunes, calling for EUR55 billion ($76.6 billion) in investments to transform Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep into global brands and more than double its profit in the next five years.
Marchionne, who was instrumental in turning Chrysler around from its bankruptcy, also wants to increase annual deliveries at FCA by 61 percent to 7 million vehicles in 2018, expecting to post earnings before interest and taxes of between EUR8.7 billion to EUR9.8 billion that year.
For this year, FCA reiterated a full-year forecast of a 14-percent rise jump operating profit, excluding one-off items.