Ford Motor Co.'s (NYSE:F) third-quarter earnings were slightly lower than a year earlier as European losses swamped record North American profits.
The company said record profits and operating margin in North America plus continued solid performance from Ford Credit were responsible for the company's best-ever third quarter earnings.
For the three months ended September 30, the automaker said third-quarter profits were 1 per cent lower at $1.63 billion but earnings per share was 41 cents, unchanged from a year earlier.
Before items, including severance payouts, it earned 40 cents, beating analyst forecasts of 30 cents, according to FactSet.
Revenue fell 3 per cent to $32.1 billion as vehicle sales dropped in Europe and South America. The automaker beat revenue forecasts of $31.5 billion due to success in North America, where revenues jumped 8 per cent.
"The Ford team delivered a best-ever third quarter, driven by record results in North America and the continued strength of Ford Credit," Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally said.
"While we are facing near-term challenges in Europe, we are fully committed to transforming our business in Europe by moving decisively to match production to demand, improve revenue through new products and a stronger brand, improve our cost efficiencies and take advantage of opportunities to profitably grow our business."
In North America, Ford earned $2.3 billion, the third quarter in a row that the company made more than $2 billion in North America and reported an operating margin of 10 per cent or more.
Ford's North American operating margin was 12 per cent in the third quarter, up from 8.6 per cent last year.
In Europe, the company lost $468 million as sales have fallen sharply due to the region's economic woes.
Last week Ford said it planned to close three European factories by 2014, affecting 6,200 employees. The automaker does not expect to return to profitability in the region until the middle of the current decade.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Ford earned $45 million, reversing a loss from a year ago, the first profit in the region since the second quarter of 2011.
Ford makes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln.