Fleet News

Ford announces record third quarter profits

FORD earned a record $1.1 billion (£660 million) in the third quarter of this year - the manufacturer's 14th consecutive quarter of improved earnings - after sparkling figures in the North American market offset European losses. The manufacturer recorded a loss of $171 million in Europe between July and September, compared with a loss of $273 million in the same period of 1998.

For the first nine months of this year, Ford has reported record earnings of $5,431 million (1998: $4,896m) while in Europe earnings this year were $83 million (1998: $267m). Based on the present forecast, Ford says it does not expect to achieve its 1999 milestone for Europe to improve earnings year-on-year.

The company said the lower nine-month results reflected lower volumes, vehicle mix and market share for Ford-branded vehicles, primarily Mondeo and Fiesta, offset partially by lower total costs, the success of Focus, improved results at Jaguar and the contribution of Volvo. Ford Credit earned $317 million in the third quarter (1998: $450m) taking earnings for the year to $952 million ($850m); while Hertz earned a record $139 million in the third quarter (1998: $119m) taking 1999 earnings to a record $276 million (1998: $229m).

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