Boosted by higher profitability in North America, General Motors has reported first quarter net income up by 33.5% to USD2.6bn.
Earnings per share and revenues exceeded analyst estimates. GM posted first quarter records for revenue (USD41.2bn, up 10.6% y-o-y), EBIT-adjusted (USD3.4bn, up 27.9%) and EBIT-adjusted margin (8.2%, +1.1 percentage points).
Results for GM were particularly strong in North America, where it posted first quarter records for North America EBIT-adjusted of USD3.4bn, up 49% and EBIT-adjusted margin 11.7%, up 3 percentage points. However, the first quarter of last year included USD0.2bn of restructuring costs, which helped the year-on-year comparison.
GM CEO Mary Barra said: “Our first quarter results reflect our resolve to grow profitably and demonstrate the strong earnings power of this company. More importantly, we advanced our strategic plan to transform GM for the long term and unlock more value for our shareholders.”
In Europe, which GM is planning to exit (Opel/Vauxhall sale to PSA), GM lost USD200m in the first quarter – it broke even in the same quarter last year. GM said the negative Brexit related foreign exchange impact was partially offset by favourable pricing on launch vehicles.
Model mix in North America sales was clearly a big positive for GM. In the first quarter, GM delivered 689,521 total vehicles in the United States, driven by a 16% increase in crossover deliveries and a 3% increase in truck deliveries. These results included the best first quarter retail sales since 2008.
However, there was a contraction in GM sales in China in Q1 (-5.2% to 913,442 units) which GM blamed on a reduction to the purchase tax incentive at the end of 2016, which means higher tax applies in 2017.