Fiat Q2 net profit falls, confirms 2012 targets

Italian auto giant Fiat on Tuesday said its net profit in the second quarter plunged to 358 million euros ($440 million) despite a rise in trading profits due to its newly-acquired US arm Chrysler.

The net profit in the second quarter of 2011 was 1.237 billion euros.

The group said its operational performance in the first half of the year meant it was confirming its annual forecast of a net profit of between 1.2 billion and 1.5 billion euros and a turnover of more than 77 billion euros.

In Europe, Fiat managed to reduce its trading losses to 138 million euros despite a prolonged slump in sales due to the economic crisis.

Fiat said sales for its luxury brands Ferrari and Maserati both rose however thanks to solid demand in Asia and North America.

Investors were disappointed by the results, with Fiat shares on the Milan stock exchange dropping by 4.49 percent to 3.998 euros a share.

Fiat said its sales rose to 21.524 billion euros compared with 13.153 billion euros a year earlier thanks to its takeover of Chrysler in June 2011.

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