The Fiat Group posted a record trading profit of EUR3.2bn in 2007, up 66% year on year. This was achieved on turnover of up 12.9% to EUR59bn.

The group also said it had extinguished its net industrial debt in 2007.

Sales of 2.234m vehicles were the highest for Fiat since 2000, generating revenues of EUR26.8bn, up 13.1%.

Fiat Group Automobiles - Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia - almost tripled trading profit year on year to EUR803m, boosting return on sales from 1.2% to 3.0%.

Maserati and Ferrari contributed another EUR290m in trading profit.

Driven by the success of the GranTurismo and the Quattroporte, Maserati recorded a profit for the first time since its acquisition by Fiat, turning the 2006 loss of EUR33m to a EUR24m trading profit last year, with a 33.7% increase in net revenues over the year and a 45% increase in the final quarter. Maserati brand sales rose 30.7% to 7,496 units.

Ferrari deliveries rose by 11.1% to 6,584 and the unit posted reported a profit up 45.4% to 266m.

Driven by the success of existing models and two key new models to be launched in 2008, the Fiat Group plans to lift vehicle sales by another 200,000 in 2008, it said in a statement.

Other targets for the year included a trading profit of EUR3.4-3.6bn, Reuters reported, noting that confirmation of the targets had been eagerly awaited by the share market because US subsidiary CNH had given a 2008 forecast earlier this week that was below analysts' expectations.