Fleet News

European sales slump hits Ford profits

A SLUMP in new car sales across Europe - including the UK - contributed to Ford announcing massively reduced profits for its European division, despite the global company posting record results for a car maker. Ford Motor Company reported after-tax profits of $7.23 billion in 1999 - more than any other automotive company in history. On a like-for-like comparison 1998 profits were $5,939 billion. Turnover last year was a record $162.56 billion (1998: $144,416 billion).

The record results were largely on the strength of booming North American vehicle sales. Full year earnings in Europe in 1999 were $28 million (1998: $193 million) on revenue of $30 billion (1998: £24 billion). Fourth quarter results in Europe improved to a loss of $55 million (1998: $74 million) on revenue of $9 billion (1998: $7 billion). In the final quarter of last year, after-tax profits totalled $1,806 million (1998: $1,043) on revenue of $44 billion (1998: $38 billion).

Ford Credit earnings last year increased 16% to $1,261 million (1998: $1,084), while Hertz Corporation reported its sixth consecutive year of record earnings in 1999 with net income up 21% to $336 million (1998: $277 million), of which Ford's share was $273 million.

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