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Fiat CEO confirms 2009 profit target

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TURIN, Italy, March 27 (Reuters) - Fiat's FIA.MI chief executive confirmed on Friday the Italian industrial group's aim to reach a trading profit exceeding 1.0 billion euros ($1.36 billion) this year despite the crisis ravaging the car industry.

“Notwithstanding the difficulties of the international economic situation, we are still confident to be able to meet the target announced by the group for the entire year,” Sergio Marchionne told shareholders at their annual meeting.

“We are convinced that, at the economic and global level, we have touched bottom,” he added.

Marchionne also reiterated his criticism of the financial aid given to car makers in other countries like France and Sweden, calling it a “very dangerous unilateral decision”.

Marchionne has often argued for equal treatment of members of the car sector in Europe. (Reporting by Gilles Castonguay)

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