Ford expects to achieve record 2015 pre-tax profit, excluding special items, and to continue its momentum in 2016 with results that are equal to or higher than 2015.
"As we close out 2015, we are benefiting from six consecutive years of consistently strong results, and our performance is allowing us to reward our shareholders," said president and CEO Mark Fields. "This pattern of strong returns gives us a great platform to build on as we enter the year with a focus on strengthening our core business and engaging aggressively in emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility."
Directors declared a first quarter dividend of US$0.15 per share and a $1bn supplemental cash dividend that is equal to $0.25 per share. The first quarter regular dividend maintains the same level as the dividends paid in 2015.
The $1bn supplemental cash dividend reflects the company's strong financial performance in 2015 and robust cash and liquidity levels, and is about a 40% addition to the regular dividends paid in 2015.
Looking forward, Ford expects to sustain its strong financial performance in 2016 – with automotive revenue equal to or higher than 2015, automotive operating margin equal to or higher than 2015 and strong automotive operating-related cash flow. The company expects its 2016 pre-tax profit, excluding special items, to be equal to or higher than 2015, and its operating earnings per share to be about equal to or higher than 2015.
In the business units, Ford expects North America to sustain its strong performance in 2016 with an operating margin of 9.5% or higher. The company expects Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific to all be profitable in 2016, with Europe's and Asia Pacific's results improving over 2015 and Middle East & Africa's results being about equal to or higher than last year. Ford Credit's pre-tax profit is expected to be equal to or higher than 2015 as Ford Credit continues to support the company's automotive operations around the world with best-in-class products and services.
Having completed the launch of 16 new vehicles in 2015, the company plans another active product year in 2016 with 12 global product launches. The company will add more electrified products for Ford and Lincoln, including the new Focus Electric, which features new DC fast-charge capability delivering an 80% charge in an estimated 30 minutes and projected 100-mile range.
"In 2015, we achieved a breakthrough year as promised," said Fields. "For 2016, we're looking forward to delivering another outstanding year."