MILAN, July 31 Italian truck and tractor maker
Fiat Industrial reported a rise in second quarter net
profit on Wednesday on the back of higher margins at its farm
machinery business and a slight improvement in trucks.
Heavy truck markets are slowly picking up due to a need to
replace ageing fleets bought during the boom years before the
2008 financial crisis.
The Fiat-controlled company, which competes with
Caterpillar Inc and Deere & Co, said revenues
were 6.8 billion euros ($9.01 billion) in the second quarter, up
3.1 percent. Net profit rose to 328 million euros, from 251
million euros previously.
Revenue at truck unit Iveco, which accounts for about one
third of group sales, fell 5.6 percent to 2.14 billion euros.
Iveco returned to a trading profit in the second quarter,
earning 1 million euros compared with a trading loss of 9
million euros in the first quarter. But compared with the second
quarter of last year, trading profit was down.
Fiat Industrial's farm machinery business in the United
States CNH had high-margin sales which helped trading
profits rise to 604 million from 478 million euros. Its trading
margin rose to 13.7 percent from 11.5 percent last year.
CNH's results were well above consensus.
Fiat Industrial and CNH's planned merger should be complete
in early September, executives have said.
Fiat Industrial Chairman Sergio Marchionne will speak to
investors at a conference call at 1400 GMT on Wednesday.
Net debt for the group fell 263 million euros to 2.27
The debt and revenue figures beat analysts' forecasts and
sent shares up about 4 percent.