WTF is EBITDA again?

WTF is EBITDA again?

Results season. Department of utter quarterly joy. But important as you can roll out all the attractive new models you like but not for long if you are not making a buck...

The way the results are presented is entertainingly variable. The-obsessed-with-quarterly-results North Americans generally provide comprehensive statements, never forgetting a long list of 'highlights of the quarter' which generally, especially in Chrysler's case, repeat everything they've already told us earlier - at least twice - and I would not be at all surprised to one day spot the Toledo North plant cat's mouse tally in there as well.

Most use a third-person format; folksy Magna prefers a "we sold, we booked profit of..." style.

The Germans do a more verbiose version of the American releases. Much as I'd probably do if I was trying to this in German, if I could, write. It's all in there somewhere, though. Pour a coffee, take a deep breath and dive in to look for revenue, operating, net, EBIT, etc, not necessarily in logical order.

The French.... do as little as possible. Free of the sort of onerous legal requirements the Americans labour under, we generally get something more like edited highlights with the Bad News either buried or not present on voyage.

The Japanese tend to publish pages of tables and the complete set of chairman-san's Powerpoint slides and leave us to it. Thanks. Any chance of getting the graduate-recruit to knock out a quick summary?

Then there's the multiple definitions of profit. EBIT. EBITDA. Pre-tax. Post-tax. Adjusted. Currency movement excised. What it would have been if there had not been an 'r' in the month. Or leap year last year. And so it goes.

From all this we try to bring you at least revenue (aka sales), operating and net profits and something resembling an outlook. Q1 2012, aka end of fiscal year 2011/12 in Japan, has so far varied from train wreck (Mazda) to pretty good given current conditions (VW) and we're gathering it all up here. Pithy comment at no extra charge from our very own man with an ear on the analysts' pressers: R Golding.

Away from bean counting, we're still keeping an eye on Saab and have encountered some rather extraordinary reaction to requests-for-comment from some sectors over the Evonik Nylon 12 issue.

Ford, which booked an operating loss in Europe in the first quarter, has confirmed it is stopping Cologne production for eight days ahead of the summer break, with more possibly to come later.

And where would we be without a celebrity story? Word came from Beijing about a Posh new Range Rover; all our show coverage is here; the blog there.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com