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Fiat Chrysler posts weaker sales, higher net profit

2 min

Milan (AFP)

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) wasn't spared slowing sales that have afflicted the global car industry but the Italian-US automaker said Wednesday that it nevertheless managed to boost its second-quarter profits.

In its first earnings report since a failed merger attempt with France's Renault, FCA said net profits from continuing operations in the three months from April to June rose by 14 percent to 793 million euros ($884 million).

It also confirmed its full-year forecast for 2019.

Shares in the group jumped by 3.69 percent in afternoon trading on the Milan stock exchange, which was 0.45 percent higher overall.

Sales by FCA brands, which include Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati nonetheless slipped by three percent to 26.74 billion euros.

The biggest drops were seen in North America, the group's biggest market, and China.

Sales by the luxury brand Maserati plunged by 46 percent.

Despite the weaker sales "we remain confident in our ability to achieve our full-year 2019 guidance," an FCA statement said.

That means the group expects to post a full-year operating profit of more than 6.7 billion euros, about the same level as in 2018.

To reach that, FCA plans to focus on marketing, reorganise Maserati and restructure a joint venture with Chinese automaker GAC.

FCA and Renault caught the auto sector by surprise in late May when they said they were exploring a "merger of equals" that was to create a global giant, but the deal fell through about a week later.

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