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MILAN, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler FCHA.MI returned to an operating profit in the third quarter led by a strong performance in its U.S. operations after an industry rout triggered by the pandemic in the first half of the year.
The Italian-American car maker on Wednesday posted adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 2.28 billion euros ($2.7 billion) for the July-September quarter, topping the 1.152 billion forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.
"Our record results were driven by our team's tremendous performance in North America," CEO Mike Manley said in a statement.
Operating profit rose 26% to a record 2.544 billion euros in North America, with a 13.8% margin versus 10.6% a year earlier.
Adjusted EBIT was slightly positive in Latin America, while the carmaker posted an operating loss in the EMEA and APAC regions and in its Maserati unit.
Milan-listed shares in FCA trimmed losses after the results were released. By 1130 GMT they were down 2.2%, versus a 2.9% fall for Italy's blue chip index .FTMIB.
FCA, which earlier this year withdrew its guidance for the year, forecast a 3-3.5 billion euro adjusted EBIT for 2020, but added that its new guidance assumed no further significant disruptions from COVID-19.
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(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Agnieszka Flak and Jason Neely)
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