Ford Motor Co. reported its largest first-quarter profit in 13 years on a recovery in the global economy, a larger portfolio of fuel-efficient vehicles and consumers buying a mix of pickup trucks and cars.
The auto maker, the first of the Big Three to report earnings, also said it doesn’t expect the parts disruptions caused by the Japanese earthquake to materially impact its North America and European operations for the year. Most of the manufacturing impact has been contained to the Asian and Pacific operations where the company has so far lost production of 12,000 to 14,000 new vehicles because of parts shortages stemming from Japan.
“We are still getting components and the Japanese suppliers are making a fantastic effort to get up and running,” Ford Chief Financial Officer
In fact, Ford boosted its second quarter global production forecast saying it now expects to build 1.5 million new cars and trucks, up by about 12,000 vehicles from the year earlier period.
“We expect our annual volumes to continue to grow substantially, driven primarily by our growing product strength, a gradually strengthening global economy and an unrelenting focus on improving the competitiveness of all of our operations,” Chief Executive Alan Mulally said in a statement.
Ford did warn that commodity costs and structural costs are expected to increase by about $2 billion during the year compared with 2010. The auto maker’s structural costs increased $400 million compared with the first quarter a year earlier, while commodity costs jumped by $300 million.
For the quarter, the company reported income rose 22% to $2.55 billion, or 61 cents a share compared with $2.09 billion or 50 cents a share during the same time period a year earlier. Excluding some one-time charges, the company earned 62 cents a share, exceeding analyst expectations of 50 cents a share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey. Revenue rose 18% to $33.1 billion.
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