Losses accelerate by one-third at Fiat to reach €6m in 2011
LOSSES AT motor distributor Fiat increased by a third to €6 million last year, the latest figures show.
Fiat Group Automobiles Ireland, which distributes the Fiat and Alfa Romeo marques in the Republic, had sales of €18.8 million in 2011, according to accounts made available by the Companies’ Registration Office. That was a 28 per cent fall on 2010, when sales were €26.2 million.
The group’s 2011 loss was a 33 per cent increase on the €4.5 million deficit it recorded at the end of the previous year.
Its balance sheet remained in the black. Shareholders’ funds stood at €3.8 million on December 31st, down from €9.8 million 12 months earlier.
The figures also show that its pension fund had a deficit of €2.8 million at the end of last year and made an actuarial loss of €1.5 million. The group operates a defined benefit scheme.
The accounts state that the group has taken action to cut its losses and strengthen its capital.
Directors Adrian Walsh, Andrew Humberstone, Luca Stopelli and Andrew Weller believe the company had enough capital to meet its needs for the foreseeable future.
The motor distributor’s directors acknowledge in their report that access to working capital for many auto dealers continues to limit sales volumes.
They also warn that the downturn continues to have a significant impact on the Irish motor industry, which they say remains extremely fragile.
In terms of the future of their own business, the directors state that they expected difficult trading conditions to continue into this year as Government austerity measures eat into consumer sentiment.
However, they are hopeful that the arrival of new models from the group’s Italian parent and Fiat’s alliance with US giant Chrysler will open more opportunities for the business, particularly in the critical fleet market.