Ford profits dented by loss in Europe

Ford F-series pickup truck
Image caption Sales of pickup trucks in the US have boosted profits

US car giant Ford has reported results that underlined the contrasting fortunes of its North American and European businesses.

The carmaker made a pre-tax profit of $2.1bn (£1.4bn) for the first three months of the year, but it came entirely from North America.

In Europe it made a loss of $462m - more than triple what it lost in the same period last year.

Other carmakers have also been hit by a slump in European car sales.

Earlier, Daimler and Volkswagen both reported big falls in profits.

Sales in Europe for all carmakers fell nearly 10% in March - the 18th consecutive monthly decline.

US recovery

Ford said its losses in Europe reflected "unfavourable" market factors, but also restructuring costs related to its "transformation" plan for its European business.

It said the outlook for the business environment in Europe remains uncertain, and repeated its expectation that it will lose $2bn in Europe over the whole of 2013.

Its first quarter profits were slightly lower than the $2.3bn it made in the same period a year ago.

But in North America pre-tax profit rose from $2.1bn to $2.4bn - its highest figure since it began reporting North America separately in 2000.

North American revenues also rose 20%.

It said economic recovery in the US was spurring demand for some of its higher-end vehicles, including larger pickup trucks.

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