Page last updated at 22:09 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

Cost-cutting boosts Ford profits

Ford vehicles at a Michigan plant
Ford expects to make consistent profits in 2011

Ford has announced profits of almost $1bn (£611m) between July and September thanks to increased market share and a successful cost-cutting programme.

Pre-tax profit for the quarter came in at $997m, compared with a loss of $161m a year earlier. Revenue was $30.9bn, down $800m on a year ago.

The US carmaker said it was making "tremendous progress despite the slump in the global economy".

Ford's shares closed up 8.3% following the announcement.

The firm also said it expected to be "solidly profitable" during 2011.

'Challenging road'

Ford cut costs by $1bn during the quarter, bringing the total reduction for the year-to-date to $4.6bn.

This exceeds the target of $4bn that the carmaker set itself for the whole of 2009.

It said these reductions came from lower manufacturing costs due to improved productivity and staff cuts.

The carmaker also reported increased market share in the US and in Europe, and a 63% jump in sales in China.

"Our solid product line-up is leading the way in all markets," said Ford boss Alan Mulally.

"While we still face a challenging road ahead, our One Ford transformation plan is working and our underlying business plan continues to grow stronger."

Crisis measures

Unlike its rivals, General Motors and Chrysler, Ford has managed without a US government bail-out.

However, it has not escaped unscathed from the financial crisis and economic downturn.

The company has cut tens of thousands of jobs and closed factories to reduce costs.

It is also considering the sale of its Swedish brand Volvo to raise cash, after already selling off its luxury European brands Jaguar and Aston Martin.

Last week, Ford announced that a consortium led by China's Zhejiang Geely was its preferred bidder for Volvo.

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