Fiat Group directors met in Turin today and approved the consolidated financial statements which confirmed trading profit of EUR1,058m and a net loss of EUR848m as announced on 25 January 2010. A dividend of EUR0.17 a share was also approved.

They also approved statutory accounts reporting net profit of EUR340m for 2009 and, as previously announced, the proposal to pay shareholders a dividend of EUR0.17 per ordinary share, EUR0.31 per preference share and EUR0.325 per savings share.

The total EUR244m pay-out (EUR237m excluding own shares currently held by the group) represents approximately 30% of the combined 2008 consolidated net income and the 2009 consolidated net loss. The dividend will be payable from 22 April.

The company set 25 and 26 March for the annual general meeting which, as well as approving the financial results, will seek renewal of shareholder approval for the purchase and disposal of Fiat shares which expires next 27 September and modification of the 2009-2010 incentive plan, Fiat Group said in a statement.

Although the share buy-back programme was placed on hold at the beginning of 2009, the board, aware the current authorisation expires soon, and to maintain the necessary operating flexibility for an adequate period, has decided to ask shareholders to extend the programme for 18 months and for a maximum amount of shares for the three share classes not to exceed 10% of share capital or approximately EUR1.1bn. Should renewal of the programme be approved, the company would, however, have no obligation to buy back shares, Fiat’s statement added.