Fiat Q1 Loss Sharply Widens; Backs 2014 Outlook

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - Italian carmaker Fiat SpA (FIATY), the parent of US automaker Chrysler Group LLC, reported Tuesday a loss for the first quarter that sharply widened from last year, hurt by the expenses related to the MOU with UAW for Chrysler and the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar.

Stripping these unusual expenses, Fiat saw only a small decline in adjusted profit, despite revenue growth amid improved shipments, reflecting higher costs and expenses. The automaker also reaffirmed its outlook for the full-year 2014.

Turin, Italy-based Fiat reported that net loss attributable to the owners of the parent sharply widened to 335 million euros in the first quarter, from 83 million euros in the prior-year quarter.

Meanwhile, group net loss for the quarter was 319 million euros, compared to net profit of 31 million euros last year.

Results for the latest quarter include unusual items, mainly related to the expense recognized in connection with the execution of the UAW Memorandum of Understanding entered into by Chrysler on January 21 of 315 million euros and the effect of the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar.

Excluding the unusual items, adjusted net profit was 71 million euros, compared to 78 million euros in the year-ago quarter.

The company also reported a loss before taxes of 446 million euros, compared to a profit of 164 million euros a year ago.

Revenues for the quarter grew 12 percent to 22.13 billion euros from 19.71 billion euros in the same quarter last year. Revenues increased 17 percent at constant exchange rates.

The year-over-year improvement was primarily attributable to increases of 17 percent in North America or NAFTA revenues to 11.73 billion euros, and 52 percent in Asia Pacific or APAC revenues to 1.50 billion euros, both largely driven by higher shipment volumes.

These were partially offset by the 20 percent reduction in LATAM revenues 1.97 billion euros. Meanwhile, EMEA revenues remained unchanged from last year at 4.34 billion euros.

Luxury Brands revenues surged 76 percent to 1.21 billion euros, driven by a six-fold increase in shipments for Maserati as a result of the success of the new models launched in 2013.

Components revenues grew 7 percent to 2.08 billion euros, driven by Magneti Marelli and Comau.

Worldwide shipments for the quarter grew 9 percent to 1.11 million units from last year, driven by growth in NAFTA, APAC and EMEA which more than offset an 11 percent decline in LATAM.

Group trading profit for the quarter was 1 percent lower at 622 million euros from 631 million euros in the prior-year quarter, but was up 6 percent on a currency adjusted basis.

The company noted that net industrial debt closed the first quarter at 10 billion euros, reflecting the acquisition of the remaining 41.5 percent minority stake in Chrysler from the VEBA Trust for $2.7 billion euros. Liquidity was pegged at nearly 21 billion euros.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2014, Fiat continues to expect revenues of about 93 billion euros, net income in the range of 600 million euros to 800 million euros. Trading profit is still projected between 3.6 billion euros and 4.0 billion euros.

In Milan, Fiat shares closed Tuesday's regular trading session at 8.47 euros, down 0.10 or 1.17% on a volume of about 26.48 million shares. FIATY closed at $11.55, up $0.42 or 3.51% on a volume of 0.20 million shares.

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This article appears in: Earnings

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