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Ford earns $1.6B in 4Q, warns of wider Europe loss

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 10:30 am

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford earned better-than-expected profits in 2012 as record results in North America trumped losses in Europe. It will have to do even better at home this year as the losses in Europe mount.

Ford earned $5.66 billion for the year, down $300 million from a year ago, as a $1.75 billion loss in Europe took its toll. Earnings per share fell to $1.42 per share from or $1.51 per share.

But Ford reported a record pretax profit of $8.3 billion in North America, where sales rose and Ford made more money on every vehicle it sold. The company is planning to give out record profit-sharing bonuses of $8,300 to 45,800 workers based on its North American results.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said Ford expects even higher results for North America this year, as demand for Ford's pickups and its newest products – the Escape small SUV and Fusion sedan – will likely grow. But Shanks said Ford now expects to lose $2 billion in Europe, up from the $1.5 billion loss it predicted a few months ago.

"Europe will hit bottom this year," Shanks said. He said the company is on track with a plan to close plants and introduce new vehicles in the region. Ford's sales fell by 15.5 percent in Europe last year.