Detroit: Ford Motor Co posted a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Wednesday as its North American unit posted its best quarter in more than a decade on the strength of new models.

Revenue in North America, the company’s largest market, shot up by one-fifth during the quarter.

The second-largest US automaker said its European restructuring was on track.

Ford reported a pretax profit of $2.1 billion, or 41 cents per share for the quarter, down from about $2.3 billion a year earlier. But the results exceeded the analysts’ average estimate of 37 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said it still expected to lose $2 billion in Europe this year. Chief financial officer Bob Shanks told reporters that recent economic data in the region painted a cloudy picture of when Europe would eventually rebound.

Net income was $1.6 billion, or 40 cents per share, up from $1.4 billion a year earlier. Revenue rose to $35.8 billion from $32.4 billion.

In North America, Ford’s pretax profit reached its highest level since at least 2000, when it began reporting the region as a separate unit. The company posted a $2.4 billion profit there, with sales volume up 17%.

Ford posted a $462 million loss in Europe, reflecting higher costs and the economic downturn’s impact on consumer demand for new cars and trucks. In South America, Ford lost $218 million due to unfavorable exchange rates particularly in Venezuela.

In the Asia Pacific/Africa, Ford earned $6 million. In China, Ford’s market share was 3.6% in the first quarter.

Shares of Ford were up 0.5% at $13.43 in trading before the market opened.

Close