Ford reports soaring profits

Car giant Ford has reported that its first-quarter net income this year was $2.1bn (£1.4bn), a $3.5bn improvement from the same period last year.

Ford reported a pre-tax operating profit of $2bn, an improvement of $4bn from a year ago. It marked Ford’s highest quarterly pre-tax operating profit in six years.

Ford North America posted a first-quarter pre-tax operating profit of more than $1.2bn, a $1.9bn improvement from first-quarter 2009. Ford operations in South America, Europe and Asia Pacific Africa, as well as Ford Credit, also posted pre-tax operating profits in the first quarter and improved results over the same period in 2009.

At the end of March, Ford entered into a definitive agreement to sell Volvo and related assets to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group for $1.8bn. The sale is expected to close in the third quarter of 2010. As a result of the agreement to sell Volvo, all of Volvo’s 2010 results are being reported as special items and excluded from Ford’s operating results.

Ford’s first-quarter revenue was $28.1bn, up $3.7bn from the same period a year ago. If Volvo had been excluded from 2009, automotive revenue would have increased by $7bn, or more than 30 per cent.