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April 20, 2005

USA: Ford Q1 net income falls 32%

Ford has reported net income of 60 cents per share, or $1.21 billion, for the first quarter of 2005. This was off 32% compared with net income of 94 cents per share, or $1.95 billion, in the first quarter of 2004, but the company, unlike rival GM, remained in the black.

Ford has reported net income of 60 cents per share, or $1.21 billion, for the first quarter of 2005. This was off 32% compared with net income of 94 cents per share, or $1.95 billion, in the first quarter of 2004, but the company, unlike rival GM, remained in the black.

Worldwide automotive profits were off 229%, though improvements were reported for some regions.

Ford’s first-quarter earnings from continuing operations, excluding special items, were 62 cents per share, or $1.26 billion and total sales and revenue in the first quarter rose to $45.1 billion from $44.7 billion in the year-ago period.

“The plan that we launched in 2002 has led to profits and positive cash flow,” said Bill Ford, chairman and chief executive officer.

Automotive Sector

On a pre-tax basis, excluding special items of $106 million, worldwide automotive profits in the first quarter were $579 million, down by $1.25 billion from the same period a year ago.

Worldwide automotive sales for the first quarter rose to $39.3 billion from $38.8 billion in the same period last year. Worldwide vehicle-unit sales in the quarter were 1,716,000, down from 1,788,000 a year ago.

Operating-related cash flow was $800 million positive for the quarter.

The Americas

For the first quarter, the Americas reported a pre-tax profit of $740 million, excluding special items, down $1.24 billion from a $1.98 billion pre-tax profit in the same period a year ago.

North American automotive operations reported pre-tax profit of $663 million, excluding special items, down $1.3 billion from a year ago. Sales were $21.1 billion, down from $23.2 billion in the same period a year ago.

South American automotive operations reported a first-quarter pre-tax profit of $77 million, an increase of $62 million from first quarter 2004. Revenue for the first quarter increased to $866 million from $650 million in 2004.

Ford Europe and Premier Automotive Group (PAG)

The 2005 first-quarter combined pre-tax profit for Ford Europe and PAG automotive operations was $4 million, compared with a profit of $38 million for the year-ago period, excluding special items, a year-over-year deterioration of $34 million.

Ford Europe’s first-quarter pre-tax profit was $59 million, compared with a pre-tax profit of $5 million, excluding special items, during the 2004 period. The improvement of $54 million primarily reflected higher volume and ongoing cost reductions. Ford Europe’s sales in the first-quarter increased to $7.7 billion, compared with $6.5 billion during the first quarter of 2004.

Premier Automotive Group reported a pre-tax loss of $55 million for the first quarter, compared with a pre-tax profit of $33 million for the first-quarter of 2004. First-quarter sales for PAG were $7.6 billion, compared with $6.8 billion a year ago.

Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa/Mazda

The 2005 first-quarter combined pre-tax profit for Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa/Mazda was $97 million, compared with $82 million for the year-ago period, a year-over-year improvement of $15 million.

Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa: For the first quarter of 2005, Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa reported a pre-tax profit of $43 million, an improvement of $15 million from the same period a year ago. The improvement primarily reflected higher volumes and a gain on the sale of Ford’s interest in Mahindra and Mahindra in India. Sales rose to $2 billion, compared with $1.6 billion during the first-quarter of 2004.

Mazda: During the first quarter of 2005, Ford’s share of the pre-tax profit of Mazda and associated operations was $54 million, unchanged from the same period a year ago.

Ford Motor Credit Company

Ford Motor Credit reported net income of $710 million in the first quarter of 2005, up $22 million from earnings of $688 million a year earlier. On a pre-tax basis, Ford Motor Credit earned $1.1 billion in the first quarter, unchanged from the previous year.

Hertz

Hertz reported a first-quarter pre-tax profit of $33 million, a $40 million improvement from the $7 million pre-tax loss from the same period in 2004.

Outlook

“As we previously announced, we have reduced our full-year earnings guidance for 2005 to a range of $1.25 to $1.50 per share, excluding special items. This outlook is based on our expectation of a tougher operating environment for the remainder of the year,” said chief financial officer Don Leclair.

“Consistent with this, we expect our second-quarter earnings per share, excluding special items, to range from a loss of 15 cents per share to breakeven.”

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