Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is still expecting to post an operating profit, excluding one-off items, of between EUR3.6 billion and EUR4 billion for the full year 2014 even after missing forecasts of analysts for the third quarter. The carmaker logged a 7.4-percent surge increase in earnings before interest and taxes to EUR926 million ($1.18 billion) from EUR862 million a year earlier.
Even with the jump, it was still slightly below the EUR937-million average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. FCA sold 9.7 percent more vehicles in the third quarter to 1.1 million units, thanks to higher demand for the Jeep Cherokee. The SUV has been instrumental in making Jeep log sales records every month this year.
Fiat also managed to hike in sales in Europe, where auto demand is slowly recovering, helping offset a slump in Brazil. For the third quarter of 2014, FCA logged a 14-percent jump in revenues to EUR23.6 billion and had EUR11.4 billion in net industrial debt as of end of September.
FCA is a merger between Italian carmaker Fiat and US firm Chrysler Group. This was a result of Sergio Marchionne’s effort to combine the companies to create the world’s seventh-largest carmaker and better compete against larger rivals like Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. Marchionne was the chief executive of both carmakers and is still the CEO of the merged company.
Thru the merger as well as the global expansion of the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands, FCA is targeting a 60-percent jump in vehicle sales 2018. It is embarking on a five-year, EUR48 billion investment that eyes to increase net income fivefold to around EUR5 billion.