Fiat Chrysler Q2 Profit Jumps 69 Percent to $368 Million

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles defied both Wall Street’s projections and its chief executive’s desperate need to find a partner by posting $ 367.9 million (converted from 333 million euros) net profit for the second quarter of 2015. While that’s far short of the order of Volkswagen AG’s $ 2.8 billion in net earnings, Ford Motor Company’s $ 1.9 billion, Nissan’s $ 1.2 billion, or General Motors’ $ 1.1 billion, it represents a 69 percent increase over FCA’s Q2 2014 net income of $ 217.6 million.

FCA cautions in its earnings statement, however, that exchange rates helped boost these quarterly financial results. Dollars paid for Chryslers and Fiats sold in Chrysler’s prime market, the U.S., are worth more now than they were a year ago.

The automaker shipped 1.193 million units in the last quarter, up by 12,000 units from Q2 ’14, for a total of 2.288 million for the first half. That’s down from 2.294 million for the first half of 2014. FCA earned revenue of $ 32.26 billion (29.2 billion euros), up $ 6.5 billion (5.9 billion euros) from the previous second quarter, which is an absolute increase of 25 percent, though up just 10 percent based on constant exchange rates. North America and Europe were strong in the second quarter, each region up 16 percent based on constant exchange rates, while the Latin American and Asia Pacific regions posted lower results.

Sergio Marchionne With NYSE

Adjusted earnings before income tax (EBIT) was $ 1.685 billion (1.525 billion euros), up $ 615.2 million (557 million euros), an increase of 58 percent, or 30 percent based on constant exchange rates.

Ferrari, which filed for an initial public offering with the New York Stock Exchange on July 23, earned $ 1.53 billion (1.387 billion euros) in the second quarter, up $ 42 million over Q2 ’14, while Maserati revenue slid by $ 280.6 million to $ 1.257 billion (1.133 billion euros).

All this occurred as FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne conducted a very public search for a merger partner. In May, The New York Times uncovered a March e-mail Marchionne sent to GM CEO Mary Barra that proposed a merger of the two automakers. Barra soundly rejected the proposal, which would surely have resulted in closed factories and probably the elimination of a couple of Chrysler brands. The results of Marchionne’s proposal might still be playing out in negotiations between FCA and the United Auto Workers, whose contract expires in September.

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