Fiat Group closes first quarter with 13th consecutive improvement in results

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Fiat Group revenues rose nearly 10% to €15 billion, with all businesses contributing to the increase, despite the uneven trading conditions in some key regions.

Continued success of new and existing models enabled Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) to achieve growth, with a total of 563,600 units delivered during the first quarter of 2008 (+4.1% over Q1 2007).

Although overall demand in Western Europe was down, FGA reported notable year-over-year increases in Germany (+15%) and France (+27%), in addition to experiencing a record quarter in Brazil (+35%).

Agricultural and Construction Equipment (CNH) revenues were up 10.1% (25.9% in US dollar terms). The Sector’s global presence enabled it to capitalise on growth opportunities in international markets, offsetting declines in Construction Equipment in North America.

Trucks and Commercial Vehicles (Iveco) had record first quarter revenues, with the number of vehicles delivered up 21% over prior year. 2007 new product launches ensured that the Sector could meet increased demand in the heavy vehicle range.

Trading profit increased 28.7% to €766 million, with gains in all industrial businesses.

FGA contributed trading profit of €193 million (2.8% of revenues), slightly higher than 2007 reported levels but up €81 million or 53% excluding one-off items.

CNH reported an increase of €9 million to €198 million (up 19.4% in US dollar terms). Margins were down 0.3% to 6.7% as a result of industrial inefficiencies caused by the rapid increase in demand for agricultural products.

Iveco posted another record first quarter trading profit, up 48% year-over-year to €222 million, representing a significant improvement in trading margin to 7.6% (from 6% for Q1 2007).

Automobiles

For Q1 2008, the Automobile businesses had revenues of €7.4 billion, an increase of 8.8% over the first quarter of 2007. In particular, Fiat Group Automobiles closed the quarter with revenues of €6.8 billion, up 8.4% over the same period in 2007 due to higher sales volumes.

Fiat Group Automobiles delivered a total of 563,600 units in Q1 2008, up 4.1% year-on-year. Deliveries were down in Italy (-11.7%), while outperformance against the market was achieved in the rest of Western Europe, with significant increases in both France (+27.3%) and Germany (+15.3%). Deliveries decreased in Spain (-31%) – where demand was extremely weak – as well as in Britain (-3.6%).

Details by brand show that the Fiat brand, in particular, continued to post positive performances: Fiat Panda and Fiat 500 (which at the end of Q1 had reached 182,000 orders since its launch) were the best selling cars in Europe in the A-segment and the Punto was one of the models in its class with the highest demand.