GM Posts A Monster Profit For 2011

general motors headquartersGM’s 47,500 unionized hourly employees can expect profit sharing checks of $7,000 a piece.

Photo: LadyDragonFlyCC via flickr

Profits rose to their highest levels ever at General Motors last year as the beleaguered Detroit automaker steadily returns from the brink.The company posted full-year top line results of $150.3 billion, an 11 per cent gain from 2010. Net income jumped 61.7 per cent to $7.6 billion.

During the final quarter of 2011, General Motors recorded revenues of $38.0 billion and earnings per share of $0.39.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg were looking for $37.7 billion and per share results of $0.41, a mixed reading for the Street. Shares are trading up slightly more than 4 per cent on the news. 

“In our first full year as a public company, we grew the top and bottom lines, advanced our global market share and made strategic investments in our brands around the world,” GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said.  “This includes reducing our break-even level in Europe and South America and driving higher revenues around the world.”

The automaker had substantial difficulty in Europe, where it lost $700 million over the full year, and $600 million during the fourth quarter. In its South American group, earnings also fell to a loss, reversing last year’s $200 million surplus. 

General Motors fared better in China, where its International Operations group recorded earnings of $400 million during the fourth quarter, compared to $300 million in the year ago period. However, bottom line results in the GMIO division also fell over the full-year period, down 17.4 per cent to $1.9 billion.

“We are executing an aggressive product plan that will give customers around the world even more reasons to purchase a General Motors vehicle,” GM Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said.  “Behind the scenes, we are working hard to eliminate complexity and cost throughout the organisation to increase margins in all of our regions, and return Europe and South America to profitability.  Overall, we have made good progress and we have more work to do.”

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