Fiat Chrysler US 2014 profit falls 56 pct. on one-time items

AP News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2015 12:22 PM
Fiat Chrysler US 2014 profit falls 56 pct. on one-time items

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S., formerly Chrysler Group, saw its net profit fall 56 percent last year even though global sales and revenue both rose 15 percent.

The Auburn Hills, Michigan, company blamed the profit drop on a $1.2 billion one-time cost linked to retiring a note held by a United Auto Workers union health care trust fund for retirees.

The company, now part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., made $2.8 billion in 2013. But that was aided by a $962 million gain on tax assets.

Fiat Chrysler's U.S. unit still reports earnings separately from its parent company based in the Netherlands, even though the companies were merged into one last year.

The company also announced that its 35,700 union workers in the U.S. would get $2,750 profit-sharing checks based on last year's modified operating profit of $3.5 billion. The payments are up from $2,500 in 2013.

Fiat Chrysler also paid a $1.3 billion "special distribution payment" to its parent company as required by credit agreements.

Chrysler's worldwide sales of 2.8 million were 15 percent higher than in 2013 as it gained a full percentage point of U.S. market share to 12.4 percent. Its revenue of $83.1 billion was also up 15 percent. Sales outside North America rose 17 percent to 363,000 vehicles. Gains came as gas prices fell and Jeep SUV and Ram pickup truck sales soared for the year.

For the fourth quarter, Chrysler's profit fell 59 percent to $669 million on revenue of $22.95 billion. But the 2013 fourth quarter included the accounting gain for deferred tax assets.

Fiat Chrysler shares rose 29 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $13.79 in midday trading.