MILAN (Bloomberg) -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported a 7.4 percent increase in profit in the third quarter, bolstered by sales growth in the U.S.
Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 926 million euros ($1.18 billion) from 862 million euros a year earlier, the company that was formed from the merger of Italy’s Fiat and U.S. automaker Chrysler said today in statement. The figure missed the 937 million-euro average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
The manufacturer, which is now based in London, stuck to its target for 2014 Ebit, excluding one-time items, of 3.6 billion euros to 4 billion euros.
CEO Sergio Marchionne merged Fiat and Chrysler into the world’s seventh-largest carmaker to better compete with auto-industry leaders such as General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. By combining operations and expanding the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands globally, the manufacturer targets a 60 percent increase in deliveries by 2018. The goal of FCA’s five-year, 48 billion-euro expansion plan is to increase net income fivefold to about 5 billion euros.
The carmaker’s deliveries in the third quarter rose 9.7 percent to 1.1 million vehicles. Boosted by demand for the compact Jeep Cherokee SUV, the brand has posted sales records every month this year.
With demand recovering in Europe from a two-decade low last year, sales in Fiat’s traditional home region also increased. Those gains helped offset the sting of a market slump in Brazil, where the company is one of the biggest automakers. Revenue rose 14 percent to 23.6 billion euros.
FCA’s net industrial debt rose by 1.7 billion euros to 11.4 billion euros in the period.