General Motors reported a $1.0 billion profit, equal to 60 cents a share, for the first quarter, handily beating analysts’ expectations – but the numbers would have been substantially better were it not for the maker’s continuing problems in Europe.
Once forecast to be back in the black this year, GM Europe lost $256 million for the January to March quarter, with GM taking another $590 million writedown in what is now likely to become the subsidiary’s 12th consecutive year of losses.
But those losses were offset by unexpectedly strong numbers from the maker’s home operations in North America, where GM earnings rose 35%, to $1.7 billion.
“It’s a long-term path that we’re on to get to the profitability levels that we want,” Dan Ammann, GM’s chief financial officer, said during a conference call with reporters. “This is a solid quarter: revenue growth, profit growth, margin growth, cash flow improvement.”