Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Wednesday reported a profit of 377 million euros (about $410 million) for 2015, a substantial decrease from 632 million euros from the previous year due to recall and investment costs.
Special charges during the year totaled more than 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), including 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in North America: 761 million euros ($850.2 million) for recalls in the third quarter and a fourth-quarter cost of 834 million euros ($906.5 million) related to a “new industrial plan” that will be outlined by CEO Sergio Marchionne later today.
“As part of the NAFTA margin improvement plan, the group will realign a portion of its capacity in the region to better match market demand,” the automaker said in its earnings release.
The results exclude earnings from Ferrari, which completed a separation from Fiat Chrysler into its own company on Jan. 3.
Including the famed Italian exotic car brand, the automaker’s 2015 profit was more than 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), up from 1.1 million euros in 2014. Overall, with Ferrari, the automaker’s operating profit was 5.3 billion euros ($5.7 billion) in 2015, up 40 percent compared to 1.5 billion euros in 2014.
The company’s 2015 revenue of 113.2 billion euros ($123.4 billion) also beat analyst expectations for the year of 111.8 billion euros ($121.5 billion).
Fiat Chrysler beat many expectations to end the year thanks to strong results in North America and improving operations in Europe in the fourth-quarter. It reported adjusted operating profit from October-December was 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion), up from 1.2 billion euros the previous year.
Earnings for the automaker were overwhelmingly driven by its North American operations, up 60.7 percent from 2014 to nearly 4.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion).
Europe posted earnings of 395 million euros ($430.6 million), followed by Asia-Pacific at 52 million euros ($57 million) and Latin America down 87 million ($94.9 million). The company’s components companies were up 110 million euros ($120 million) to 395 million euros ($430.6 million), while its uber-luxury Maserati brand declined 170 million euros ($185.3 million) to earn of 105 million euros ($114.5 million).
The automaker shipped 4.6 million cars and trucks in 2015. That’s in-line with 2014 but below the company’s previously announced expectations of 4.8 million.
Fiat Chrysler’s new North American production footprint as well as changes to the company’s 2014-2018 plan will be outlined later today by Marchionne. The company also will announce what profit-sharing payments will be to its United Auto Workers employees.
Industry experts from Detroit to Italy expect the altered 2014-2018 plan to concentrate more heavily on Fiat Chrysler’s thriving Jeep brand and North American operations, while lowering expectations for the renaissance of Italian luxury brand Alfa Romeo and emerging markets such as Brazil.
The company’s commitment to Jeep plays into a $5.3 billion U.S. investment plan by the automaker that was loosely outlined under a four-year deal with the United Auto Workers in 2015. Marchionne has confirmed parts of the plan, but not all. It is expected to impact a handful of vehicles and at least four U.S. assembly plants.
Marchionne on Jan. 11 said the automaker’s financial goals of a 9 billion euro operating profit and zero industrial debt (at 9.7 billion euros in 2013) remain intact under the new plan, but the road the company takes to get there has detoured from the original May 2014 plan.
Net industrial debt fell to 6 billion euros at the end of 2015. Including an effect of Ferrari’s spin-off, the company reported net debt fell to 5 billion euros.
For 2016, Fiat Chrysler forecasts net revenue of 110 billion euros ($120 billion); an operating profit of 5 billion euros (5.4 billion); and adjusted net profit of 1.9 billion ($2.1 billion). The company expects its net industrial debt to remain at 5 billion euros (5.4 billion).
Fiat Chrysler shares on the New York Stock Exchange closed Tuesday up 7.2 percent to $7.61 a share.
Fiat Chrysler is the first of the Detroit automakers to report 2015 earnings. Ford Motor Co. is scheduled to report on Thursday, while General Motors Co. is next week.