General Motors in profit as rebound continues

Buick Verano GM has been through years of restructuring

US carmaker General Motors has posted a $510m (£317m) profit for the fourth quarter, and of $4.7bn for all of 2010.

The latter figure covers its first full year after bankruptcy, and represents its first full-year profit since 2004 and largest profit since 1999.

During 2008 GM went into bankruptcy protection and was eventually given $49.5bn in government funding.

In 2009 it underwent restructuring, cutting staff and reducing factory capacity as demand for its cars fell.

The firm was also helped by reductions in debt and pension liabilities following the bankruptcy process.

Now strong sales in China and the US are now helping the global car sales market to recover, and GM has benefited.

"The story is changing for them and shifting away from the trauma and pain of 2008 and 2009 and to 'How do they compete in a very competitive marketplace?'" said Bernie McGinn, chief investment officer at McGinn Investment Management.

The firm made less in the fourth quarter than in the previous three, because of costs associated with launching two new vehicles, the Chevrolet Cruze compact and Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car.

Meanwhile, revenues for the quarter rose nearly 15% from a year earlier to $37bn.

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