FCA Q4 adjusted earnings rise 1%; company pledges to cut debt nearly in half
UPDATED: 1/26/17 6:21 am ET – adds N.A. results
MILAN/DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said its fourth-quarter earnings before interest and taxes rose 1 percent to 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion)
Revenue during the quarter also gained 1 percent to 29.7 billion euros ($31.9 billion).
Unadjusted net income for the quarter doubled to 409 million euros ($438 million).
In a statement, FCA said it expects to nearly halve net debt to below 2.5 billion euros ($2.68 billion) this year — more than expected — as the company is in a race against time to prove it can turn cash positive by the end of 2018.
The world’s seventh-largest carmaker already cut debt to 4.59 billion euros by the end of December, beating analysts consensus expectations of 4.86 billion euros, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
The carmaker said it expects 2017 adjusted EBIT of more than 7 billion euros, up from 6 billion euros last year, while sales are expected to rise to between 115-120 billion euros.
For the year, FCA said its earnings before interest and taxes surged 26 percent to 6.1 billion euros ($6.5 billion). The lion’s share of those earnings were generated in North America — 5.1 billion euros ($5.5 billion).
In a separate statement, the automaker said about 40,000 hourly workers represented by the UAW would receive an average of $5,000 each in profit sharing checks on Feb. 17.
The company said it will retool three assembly plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio in 2017. “A total of $2.5 billion will be invested in these facilities to expand the Jeep and Ram brands and will bring 1,700 new jobs to these communities,” the statement said. “These actions are planned to be completed by early 2018.”