MILAN -- Fiat narrowed its losses for the second quarter running, results released on Friday showed, but the group and its core car business were still deeper in the red than analysts had expected.
Fiat said its third-quarter operating loss shrank to 285 million euros ($333.6 million) from 339 million euros in the year ago period. Eleven analysts polled by Reuters had forecast an operating loss of 246 million euros.
Fiat Auto's operating loss came in at 314 million euros slightly better than last year's 340 million euro loss but worse than the gloomiest forecast in Reuters' analysts poll of 307 million euros. The median estimate was 272 million euros.
Fiat reiterated that a fleet of new cars that have come on sale in the last few weeks should allow the truck-to-components group to make a "significant improvement" in the fourth quarter.
Fiat group revenue came in at 9.837 billion euros in the third quarter, against 11.99 billion a year-ago, hit by the sale of insurance unit Toro and aviation arm Fiat Avio, which were sold to help fund a turnaround at Fiat Auto.
At Fiat Auto, which is battling to reverse a slump in sales that caused its crisis, turnover fell to 4.155 billion euros from 4.66 billion in the third quarter last year.
The group net loss for the third quarter came in at 84 million euros against a net loss of 413 million a year ago, boosted by a 781 million euro net capital gain on the sale of Fiat Avio.
Net debt fell below a key three billion euro mark for the first time in months, measuring 2.952 billion euros at the end of September.