Fiat Chrysler ups 2018 financial targets, Jeep sales goal

Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:10am EST
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By Agnieszka Flak

MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) (FCHA.MI: Quote) raised the financial targets of its turnaround plan on Wednesday following a better-than-expected performance in North America and Europe and strong sales of its Jeep SUVs.

However, the world's seventh-largest carmaker reduced its profit margin forecast for Latin America given tough market conditions in Brazil and uncertain prospects for recovery there.

FCA (FCAU.N: Quote) also said that while it was committed to the relaunch of Alfa Romeo, one of the cornerstones of its business plan along with Jeep and Maserati, the sporty brand's planned product line up would only be completed by mid-2020.

The carmaker said it now saw adjusted operating profit of 8.7-9.8 billion euros in 2018 and revenues of around 136 billion euros, up from previous forecasts of 8.3-9.4 billion and around 129 billion respectively.

The comparison forecasts have been updated to exclude luxury unit Ferrari, which was spun off at the start of this year.

The upgrade came as a surprise to financial markets, with most analysts forecasting the turnaround plan would fall short of its initial goals due to model delays, deferred investments and slowing demand in Asia and Latin America.

"These targets were revised upwards when previous targets were already well above consensus," one trader said.

At 1545 GMT, FCA's shares in Milan were flat, broadly in line with European blue-chips .FTEU3.   Continued...

A woman walks past a logo of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in Turin March 31, 2014. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino