Chrysler Group LLC issued its second-quarter results Monday, posting a healthy profit as it continues to put its 2009 bankruptcy behind it. The $436 million profit is an immeasurable improvement over the carmaker's 2Q 2011 net loss of $370 million, and coincided with a 23 percent year-over-year increase in revenue to $16.8 billion. Of course, last year's loss included a massive $550 million payout related to the company's bailout, but earnings would only have come to ab0out $180 million had the bailout never happened, meaning Chrysler profit would have more than doubled from a year ago.
Chrysler's results were particularly encouraging for majority owner Fiat SpA, who is expected to issue its own results on Tuesday. With the European debt crisis all-but erasing auto sales in Europe, Fiat has become increasingly reliant on Chrysler profits to offset its own shortcomings in recent months. One of Fiat's most important markets for sales is the southern members of the European Union, many of which have been hit the hardest by the slowdown in sales. Chrysler saw global sales rise 20 percent in the second quarter versus a year earlier, fueled by a gain of 24 percent in North America.
Based on the latest results, Chrysler's CEO Sergio Marchionne reiterated his goal of reaching $3 billion in operating profit this fiscal year, even going so far as to say the automaker might overshoot that goal. Chrysler's revenue has been growing ever since the beginning of 2010, when it totaled just $9.7 billion for that year's first quarter. Since then, the company has enjoyed 27 straight months of sales growth in year-to-year terms, a stark reversal of the previous 24 months, in which Chrysler's sales declined each month.