June 1, 2018 / 1:51 PM / 2 years ago

Fiat Chrysler aims to double profits, pay dividends in new plan

FILE PHOTO: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) U.S. headquarters is seen in Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S., May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

BALOCCO, Italy (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler expects to at least double adjusted operating profits and return to an investment grade rating and dividends under a new plan to 2022, helped by strong growth from its Jeep SUV brand and an expansions of its premium product portfolio.

Outlining its next five-year strategy, the world’s seventh-largest carmaker said it targets adjusted earnings before interest and tax of between 13-16 billion euros in 2022, up from 6.6 billion euros last year, while margins are expected to rise to between 9-11 percent from 6.3 percent in 2017.

The carmakers expects sales to grow by around 7 percent each year on average. It targets a dividend payout ratio of around 20 percent throughout the plan, expecting to pay out a total of around 6 billion euros over the next five years.

The carmaker is on track to meet or exceed nearly all of the targets of its last five-year plan to 2018, notably a much-celebrated goal to eliminate all of its net debt by the end of June.

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Valentina Za

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