July 25, 2011 / 1:05 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 4-Fiat Industrial could boost '11 targets again

* Trading profit 530 mln euros, consensus was 445 mln euros

* Revenue target raised 9 pct to 24 bln euros

* Chairman says trading profit target more than reachable

* Shares close up 5.4 pct after results, Milan index lower

(Adds chairman comments)

By Ian Simpson

MILAN, July 25 (Reuters) - Fiat Industrial SpA raised its 2011 targets on Monday after the truck and heavy equipment maker beat second-quarter profit forecasts and could boost the goals again in the third quarter, its chairman said.

Record margins for agricultural equipment and a recovery in European truck markets helped push trading profit to 530 million euros ($764 million), well past a median forecast of 445 million from analysts.

“We are going to revisit these numbers at the end of Q3 to see if we are going to upgrade them,” Chairman Sergio Marchionne, who is also chief executive of automakers Fiat SpA and Chrysler, told analysts on a conference call.

The new goal of more than 1.5 billion euros in trading profit, an upward revision of at least 7 percent, “seems more than attainable”, he said.

Fiat Industrial, which broke off from Fiat at the start of the year, also cut its 2011 capital spending to 1 billion euros from 1.4 billion euros.

Marchionne said the capital spending figure under a 2010-2014 business plan had been at the high end of targets and could be reduced.

The shares closed up 5.4 percent at 9.47 euros. Milan’s blue-chip FTSE MIB index was down 2.48 percent.

A Milan analyst said: “The results are rather surprisingly good and clearly above consensus.”

AG MUSCLE

Revenue was up 10.6 percent at 6.3 billion euros, with those at truck maker Iveco boosted by a recovery of European demand and continued strong sales in Latin America, the company said in a statement.

Agricultural and construction equipment unit CNH posted a rise in revenues of almost 10 percent, helped by double-digit growth in all regions, especially North America.

Margins for agricultural equipment were a record 12.9 percent, the highest level in two years.

Fiat Industrial raised targets for 2011 revenue to 24 billion euros, up 9 percent from the goal under its 2010-2014 business plan.

The goal for net industrial debt is 1.6 billion euros, compared with 1.5 billion to 1.8 billion euros under the plan.

Marchionne called the debt target a “minimum condition”, adding: “The last thing we want to do is disappoint the market.”

The Milan analyst welcomed the revised debt objective, saying their previous target was conservative. (Editing by David Holmes and Will Waterman) ($1=.6933 Euro)

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