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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Kwik-Fit keeps Ford in the red
Ford Thunderbird
Ford's popular Thunderbird helped boost US sales
Beleaguered carmaker Ford has narrowed its losses and predicted a "slight" profit for the final months of 2002.


We [have] a strong sense of urgency to restore our business to its full profit potential

Bill Ford, chairman
For the 90-day period ending 30 September, Ford posted a loss of $326m (210m) compared with a loss of nearly $700m for the same period a year earlier.

Ford said the result was largely because of the sale of Kwik-Fit, the British-based car-repair business that was sold at a loss.

Excluding the $525m charge associated with the Kwik-Fit sale and other items, Ford said it earned 12 cents a share - far ahead of the four cents a share analysts had expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Profit for the third quarter was $39.58bn, up 9% from the same period a year earlier.

In addition, Ford said the number of vehicles it sold also rose 9%, to 1.66 million units.

Looking ahead

The world's number two carmaker warned its profits for the remaining three months of 2002 would be 40 cents a share, compared with the 43 cents a share analysts were expecting.

Ford shares were 27 cents, or 3%, lower in mid-morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The shares are nevertheless much higher than they were just last week when they hit a 10-year low of $7.15 a share.

The company has been plagued by quality-control concerns and a need to aggressively cut costs in an increasingly competitive car and truck market.

Chief executive Bill Ford said "the fundamentals of our business are improving", citing an increase in pre-exceptional profits and vehicle sales, and improving market share.

"While we are pleased with our progress, we continue our work with a strong sense of urgency to restore our business to its full profit potential," Mr Ford said.


Companies

Background
See also:

08 Oct 02 | Business
27 Sep 02 | Business
20 Aug 02 | Business
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31 Jul 02 | Business
17 Jul 02 | Business
02 Jul 02 | Business
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