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Ford reduces profits in the first quarter but improves prospects

 Washington, .- Ford’s net profits fell 33.9% in the first quarter of 2019, to 1,146 million dollars, but the results were better than expected by analysts.

The company’s revenues also fell to 40.342 billion dollars, 3.8% less than a year ago; but managed to reduce its costs and expenses by 4.1% and increased its adjusted earnings before interest and taxes by 14.2% to 2.4 billion dollars.

During a conference call with analysts and media outlets after the results were published, Ford’s top executives expressed their satisfaction.

“We are very encouraged by the strong start of the year,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett.
For his part, the company’s financial director, Bob Shanks, for whom these were the last results he presented before leaving, expressed himself in a similar way and noted that “this quarter was a very good way to start the year.”

Shanks added that although the earnings before interest and taxes of the first quarter will probably be the best of 2019, the company expects the financial results of the whole year to be better than those of 2018, when it had a profit of 3,677 million dollars.

Of the revenues of the first three months, 37.239 million dollars corresponded to the sale of automobiles, which means a fall of 4.5%. The rest of the revenues came from the financial arm, Ford Credit, with 3,097 million dollars, and the Mobility segment, which generated 6 million dollars.

Ford also highlighted that it has 24.2 billion dollars in cash and 35.2 billion in liquidity, above the company’s targets of 20,000 and 30,000 million respectively.
By regions, Ford had an income in North America of 25,400 million dollars, 2.4% more than in the first three of the year 2018, although its sales were reduced by 5.4%. Earnings before interest and taxes in North America were $ 2.2 billion.

The good results of the region are the result of the increase in average sales prices, as well as the mix of products that the company markets.

Ford stressed that its flagship product, the F series of trucks, increased its market share in North America, while the average transaction price amounted to $ 47,000, “despite all the new products from competitors.”

In the rest of the world, the losses rose to 196 million dollars, which means an improvement over the losses of 632 million dollars in the last quarter of 2018.

In South America, revenues were 900 million dollars, 30.7% less than in 2018, with losses before taxes and interest of 158 million dollars.

Ford explained that inflation and interest rates played against the results in South America, along with the reduction of economic activity in Argentina.

In Europe, revenues were reduced to 7.6 billion dollars, a fall of 14.6%, but earnings before interest and taxes amounted to 57 million. In the first quarter of 2018, Europe generated 62 million dollars of losses.

Ford acknowledged that its market share was reduced in Europe due to lower demand for saloons, but that in the commercial vehicle segment its market share grew and was the leading brand of that segment in the first quarter.

In the Middle East and Africa, Ford entered 600 million dollars, the same number as in 2018, with a profit of 14 million dollars.
In China, revenues decreased to 900 million dollars, a 30.7% drop. Ford lost 128 million dollars in the Asian giant, but losses were 22 million dollars less than a year ago.

The manufacturer said that its results in the Asian giant suffered the negative impact of the sharp drop in sales, as the company delivered 115,000 vehicles, 48.1% less than in the first quarter of 2018.

And in the rest of the Asia Pacific region, Ford entered 1,800 million dollars with a profit of 19 million. (EFEUSA)

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