Fiat cuts forecast as debt overshoots
CARMAKER FIAT cut its full-year forecasts to the lower end of its range yesterday and said net debt would overshoot a previous target by as much as €1 billion in the face of a persistently weak European car market.
Third-quarter trading profit at the Italian car manufacturer beat forecasts as a jump in sales at its US arm Chrysler offset a growing loss in austerity-hit Europe, where the maker of the Punto does not anticipate a recovery until 2014.
“Events of the past 12 months have reinforced our negative view of the development of the European markets,” said the company.
Fiat, which posted a trading profit of €951 million, said it now expected that number to be “in excess” of €3.8 billion for the whole of 2012, the bottom end of a target range of between €3.8 billion and €4.5 billion.
Analysts had forecast trading profit of €910 million after €851 million a year earlier. The company’s closely watched net debt was €6.7 billion, worse than a consensus forecast of €6.5 billion. The company is now forecasting to hit €6.5 billion in net debt by the end of 2012, higher than €6 billion initially forecast. – (Reuters)