Fiat Q1 net profit beats fcast but Europe weak

MILAN, April 26 Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:30am EDT

MILAN, April 26 (Reuters) - Italian car maker Fiat, which holds a majority stake in Chrysler, said revenue from mass market car sales in Europe fell 13.1 percent in the first quarter, a shortfall which was more than compensated by booming car sales in the United States.

Its group trading profit including Chrysler was 866 million euros, better than the 845 million euros expected in an analyst consensus compiled by Fiat.

Chrysler's strength offset declines in Europe, where Fiat posted a trading loss of 207 million euros on its mass market brands, almost double the 106 million euro loss it posted a year ago on a pro-forma basis.

Earlier on Thursday, Chrysler reported its best quarterly profit since its 2009 bankruptcy, with auto sales up 33 percent at a quarterly net profit of $473 million, up from a previous $116 million.

Fiat shares were trading -3.5 percent lower at 3.80 euros at 1330 GMT. (Reporting by Jennifer Clark)

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