Milan: Italian carmaker Fiat SpA beat the average forecast with a second-quarter trading profit of €310 million ($440 million), and said it cut net industrial debt to 5.7 billion from 6.6 billion in the period.
Europe’s sixth-largest car maker by sales also confirmed on Wednesday its targets of a 2009 trading profit over €1 billion and end-year net debt below 5 billion.
Fiat shares were down 2.9% at €7.71 at 4 pm.
One trader said the market was very volatile. “For me, the results are not bad, I see liquidity improving.”
Fiat, which has a 20% stake in US carmaker Chrysler, said the rest of the year should show an improvement.
However, “the truck market and the construction equipment business will continue to suffer depressed demand”, only seeing signs of recovery in the fourth quarter, it said.
Also on Wednesday, Fiat’s CNH Global NV agricultural equipment maker turned in a second-quarter net loss per share of $0.28. It said it saw a net loss for the year.
Like other car makers, Fiat has seen a slump in demand as consumers rein in spending to cope with a global downturn and credit is hard for them to find. Government incentives in many countries have partly helped to stem the falls.
On Tuesday, world number two truckmaker Volvo AB turned in a hefty operating loss for the period.