November 5, 2014 / 3:43 PM / 4 years ago

Chrysler Group profit jumps, keeps 2014 outlook; shares gain

DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N), on Wednesday reported third-quarter net income of $611 million, up 32 percent from a year earlier, and kept its full-year outlook, sending shares up in early trading.

A new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sign is pictured after being unveiled at Chrysler Group World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Revenue for Chrysler, which derives most of its sales from its home North American market, was $20.66 billion, up 17.6 percent. The revenue growth matched that of vehicle sales, which surged to 711,000 vehicles.

Chrysler maintained its full-year 2014 forecast of net revenue around $80 billion, adjusted net income of $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion, and free cash flow of $500 million to $1 billion.

The third-largest U.S. automaker also boosted its market share in the United States in the quarter, to 12.3 percent, from 11.2 percent a year ago. In 2009, the year of Chrysler’s bankruptcy and when Fiat took over management of the company, its U.S. market share was 9 percent.

Last week, the parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) reported a 7 percent rise in third-quarter operating profit to 926 million euros ($1.15 billion) on revenue which grew 14 percent to 23.6 billion euros ($29.5 billion).

The FCA earnings on Oct. 29 were overshadowed by news of the company spinning off luxury sports car brand Ferrari as part of a plan that includes a $2.5 billion convertible bond issue to help fund an ambitious five-year business plan.

Free cash flow for the third quarter was a positive $412 million, up from a negative $343 million a year ago. Cash as of the end of the quarter was $13.5 billion.

Sales of vehicles outside North American jumped 11 percent to 91,000.

Fiat became full owner of Chrysler early this year and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles began trading last month in New York and Milan.

Shares of the company were up 0.7 percent in New York trading at $11.13. In Milan, they were at 8.93 euros, up 1.8 percent.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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