Sales in U.S. and Asia Help Propel Profit at Ford
DEARBORN, Mich. — The Ford Motor Company said on Wednesday that its net income rose 19 percent in the second quarter, to $1.2 billion, as it reported record sales in North America and Asia and reduced losses in Europe.
Ford surpassed analysts’ expectations by reporting global revenue of $38.1 billion, an increase of 15 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Pretax operating profit was $2.6 billion, up $726 million.
Strong sales in North America continued to carry the company as it lost money in Europe and restructured its operations there and invested heavily in China. It was the 16th consecutive profitable quarter for Ford.
Ford said its market share grew in its four crucial global markets: Europe, South America, Asia Pacific Africa and North America, where it grew nearly a full percentage point to 16.5 percent.
“Our One Ford plan continues to deliver profitable growth around the world,” Alan R. Mulally, the company’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Ford’s shares rose 2.5 percent to close at $17.37.
The record sales in North America, as well as the gradually improving European market, prompted Ford to raise its full-year outlook, which now calls for pretax profit to equal or surpass 2012.
“We’ve already blown past what we did last year,” Robert L. Shanks, chief financial officer, told reporters at Ford’s headquarters here.
The automaker reported a pretax loss of $348 million in Europe but said that was an improvement from both the second quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year. Ford said it expected to lose $1.8 billion in Europe this year, less than the $2 billion it had previously projected. Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz cars, also reported improvement in Europe, with net income more than doubling from the period a year ago.
Ford’s European market share increased this quarter to 8.1 percent from 7.6 percent, a significant development “because the industry is down, and our retail share is up in a down industry,” a company spokesman, Jay Cooney, said.
Ford managed to increase its market share in Europe with the introduction of new models of the Kuga small utility vehicle, the Ranger pickup and B-Max compact crossover, Mr. Shanks said.
“I think the industry is still under a dark cloud because, as a whole, it still hasn’t taken out the excess capacity there,” Mr. Shanks said.
In Europe, Ford said it would focus on retail sales at the expense of the fleet market, and expected to bolster its bottom line after closing two plants in Britain this week and another, in Genk, Belgium, late next year.
In the Asia Pacific region and China, in particular, Ford said it recorded its highest pretax profit of any quarter. Over all, the region’s pretax profit was $177 million, in contrast to a $66 million loss in the second quarter last year. Market share grew one percentage point, to 3.6 percent.
Ford also reported that its market share in China surged to 4.3 percent, from 2.8 percent, its best quarterly figure there ever.
The automaker is investing heavily in China, adding jobs, plants and new vehicle models. Ford introduced three small to medium-size utility vehicles during the first four months of the year, and plans to introduce five plants, add 300 dealerships and double its work force by 2015.
South America also returned to profitability, fueled by the popularity of the Ranger and EcoSport models, Mr. Shanks said. Pretax profits there totaled $151 million, compared with $5 million last year. Ford’s market share grew slightly to 9.6 percent, from 9.4 percent.
The quarter’s results also prompted Ford to raise its expectations for sales in the United States, Europe and China this year. It projects that the industry is on track to sell 15.5 million to 16 million vehicles in the United States. As a sign of this confidence in North America, Ford on Tuesday said it would hire 800 more salaried workers this year.