Even with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ declining performance in Latin America, it was still able to post a net income of 92 million euros (or $101 million) in the first quarter. This is mostly attributed to its impressive run in North America. A year ago, FCS reported a $190 million loss. The company experienced a 38% increase in revenue in North America to $17.8 billion.
Shipments in North America went up 8% to 633,000 vehicles while its sales grew 6% to 587,000 vehicles. Its profit margin in North America for the quarter was 3.7%, higher than the 3.2% recorded the previous year. Meanwhile, adjusted earnings before interest and taxes in the region increased by 58% to $661 million.
For the first quarter, its global unit shipments dropped 2% to 1.1 million units, mostly due to Latin America. Worldwide, Jeep shipments increased by 11% amid the worldwide buildout of the SUV brand. Global revenues for the first quarter increased by 19% to $29 billion. FCA reported having cash of $24 billion in the first quarter, a marked drop from $25.3 billion in the same period last year.
It was also revealed by FCA (the parent of FCA US) that its gross industrial debt is at $36.6 billion, lower than the $37 billion it reported last year. U.S. sales had grown 6% in the first quarter of 2015 based on a 5% increase in sales pickups and SUVs and a 10% jump in car sales.
FCA affirmed what its overall guidance would be for 2015, sharing that it will ship about 4.9 million vehicles and expects net revenues of around $118.7 billion. It anticipates that its 2015 overall profit would be at around $1.2 billion, and that it will be able to reduce its net industrial debt of $8.25 to $8.8 billion.
Meanwhile, Ferrari’s first-quarter adjusted profit increased by 25% to 100 million euros ($111 million). Ferrari, which will be separated from Fiat Chrysler in the later part of this year, benefited from the currency changes as the brand’s deliveries were nearly 100 fewer than the previous year.
The car producer has depended on operations in North America, where sales have increased for 60 consecutive months, to not feel the impact of the weakness in Europe, where it became profitable only in the fourth quarter for the first time since the year 2007.
The company gets a higher margin from US-built SUVs and trucks when these earnings are converted into euros amid the dollar’s gain compared to the euro. In the 12 months through April 27, the euro fell 21% against the dollar.
Max Warburton, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, said that nevertheless, profit margins in this region are still “far below” General Motors and Ford Motor Co.