General Motors on Thursday posted a $7.6 billion profit for 2011, while recording its smallest quarterly profit of the year inside the fourth quarter.
Lucre for your October-through-December period fell 7 percent on the year-earlier period to $472 million, being a $562 million loss in Europe–the steepest of the season there–weighed on the automaker’s main point here. Us earnings nearly doubled.
Your fourth-quarter net income included several one-time gains and losses. GM recorded a $749 million gain in November for shifting retiree health-care expenses in Canada right into a trust. In addition , it recorded goodwill impairment charges of $621 million in Europe and $258 million because of its GM International operations unit, primarily China, and $555 million in connection with investments in Ally Financial, GM’s former captive finance arm.
Stripping out those one-time events, GM said its quarterly profit can have been $900 million.
“We are going to build on these results when we bring more new cars, crossovers and trucks to advertise, and make GM a far more efficient global team,” GM CEO Dan Akerson said in the statement. “This includes reducing our break-even level in Europe and South America and driving higher revenues worldwide.”
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 3 percent to $38 billion.
The 2011 net gain of $7.6 billion compares with 2010 earnings of $4.7 billion and was padded by the $1.6 billion gain on the first-quarter sale of stock that GM owned in supplier Delphi Automotive.
GM’s fourth-quarter results marked its eighth straight quarterly profit since its July 2009 emergence from a U.S.-steered bankruptcy.
Challenges in Europe
While GM’s performance in Europe worsened late in 2011 amid the continent’s economic troubles, the automaker trimmed its full-year losses there to $747 million, from $1.95 billion truly.
GM executives have said they may be committed to fixing Opel, the eu unit, and so are implementing intends to stem the losses. GM hasn’t detailed any to date beyond dispatching several executives overseas. They reportedly have decided you’re closure of assembly plants in Bochum, Germany, and Ellesmere Port, England, who have a combined manpower of more than 5,000 employees.
Talking to reporters at GM’s headquarters on Thursday, CFO Dan Ammann said the corporation is in talks having its unions in Europe but wouldn’t detail what steps are now being discussed.
He explained the restructuring in Europe within the last few two years “hasn’t gone far enough and has not reached break during environmental surroundings we’re in today.” GM is “investigating all elements of the organization,” he was quoted saying, “to make sure that we make changes we need to make to have the business profitable.”
GM’s United states profit in the fourth quarter rose 84 percent to $1.50 billion on stronger pricing minimizing costs. Ammann said he expects pricing in The usa to stay strong in 2010.
In South America, GM lost $225 million, its second straight quarterly loss there following several profitable quarters. Ammann blamed the losses on cost pressures and an aging product portfolio, which should improve when GM launches several new vehicles this holiday season. For the year, South usa swung with a loss of $122 million at a profit of $818 million this season.
GM’s International Operations, led by its operations in China, recorded a $373 million profit within the fourth quarter. It posted fabric profit of $1.90 billion with the year, down 16 percent.
This year’s outlook
Offering an easy forecast for 2012, GM said hello expects industry sales volume worldwide to develop, while global business are going to be roughly flat after growing by 0.4 percentage points to 11.9 percent recently. Costs will be flat, while pricing is going to be up, GM said.
GM Financial posted a pre-tax profit of $170 million inside the fourth quarter, bringing its full-year pretax profit to $622 million, up from $129 million 2009.
GM said its funding shortfall on its U.S. pension grew in 2011 to $13.3 billion, from $11.5 billion at the conclusion of 2010, largely because lower interest rates reduced the pension fund’s interest income. Its U.S. defined-benefit pension plans ended the year 88 percent funded, vs. 89 percent 2009.
In the past year, GM shifted numerous plan’s assets to less risky investments–reducing its equity holdings to 14 percent from 29 percent, as an example.
On Feb. 15 GM said it will freeze the defined-benefit pension account for salaried workers and move them to a detailed-contribution 401(k) plan, effective Sept. 30, while also offering new retirees a lump-sum payout–both moves geared towards reducing its future pension obligations. The pension-plan change affects salaried workers hired before Jan. 1, 2001; those hired after that already are covered by a defined-contribution plan.
Ammann wouldn’t inquire into whether GM is considering offering a lump-sum payout to hourly retirees, saying only that GM is reviewing other options to lessen its contact with pension costs.
On account of GM’s quarterly results, the company can pay profit sharing up to $7,000 to about 47,500 eligible U.S. hourly employees.
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