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Fiat net profit soars as automaker promises the first dividend since 2002

Fiat net profit soars as automaker promises the first dividend since 2002

Fiat SpA reported Thursday that its net profit soared in the fourth quarter as the core auto division posted a nearly five-fold earnings gain, allowing the automaker to pay a dividend for the first time since 2002.
The Turin-based maker of cars and trucks said net profit in the fourth quarter of 2006 ended Dec. 31 was euro452 million (US$587 million), from euro38 million a year earlier, lifted by one-time asset sales.
Trading profit at the auto unit, which accounts for some 80 percent of group earnings, jumped to euro95 million ($123 million) in the fourth quarter from euro21 million in the same period a year earlier on strong sales of its flagship compact car, the Grande Punto.
Full-year 2006 net profit at Europe's sixth-largest automaker by sales was down 20 percent from a year earlier, at euro1.07 billion (US$1.38 billion) from 1.33 billion in 2005, when more assets were sold.
Fiat also announced it will pay a dividend for the first time since 2002. The automaker will pay a total of euro276 million (US$358 million) in dividends across all share classes, with a dividend of 15.5 euro cents (20 U.S. cents) per ordinary share.
Revenues were up more than 11 percent in 2006, reaching euro52 billion (US$67 billion), with a trading profit of euro2 billion (US$2.6 billion), double the 2005 levels, Fiat said. Fourth quarter revenues were up 5.5 percent to euro14 million (US$18 million) from euro13.1 million a year earlier.
The once-failing automaker, which makes cars under the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands, returned to profitability in 2005 under the stewardship of CEO Sergio Marchionne, who took over in 2004.
Fiat shares rose 0.1 percent to euro16.12 (US$20.96).


Updated : 2021-08-03 18:45 GMT+08:00