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Fiat joins VW and PSA in posting positive Q1 results

The Fiat Group saw revenues up 14.7% in the first quarter with its automobile operations – Fiat cars and LCVs, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati and Ferrari – posting a 22.1% increase year-over-year.

However, net results were still in the red with a €21 million (£18.1m) loss in Q1, compared to €411m (£356m) loss in the same period last year.

Fiat's more positive results reflect those posted by the PSA Group and Volkswagen AG

Fiat has also confirmed to investors that it plans to split its car-making arm – Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) – from the rest of the group’s businesses, which includes truck, agricultural vehicle and marine machinery manufacturing.

Presenting his five-year plan for Fiat, Sergio Marchionne, its chief executive, said the two parts of the business had “more differences than similarities” and the demerger would allow the car operations to have more freedom to build the car and van-making business.

His plan includes doubling Fiat car sales to 3.8m by 2014.

He plans for Fiat and Chrysler, which Fiat acquired a 20% stake of last year, to be producing six million vehicles by 2014.

His plans were announced as the group saw its trading profit hit €352 million (£305m) against a Q1 loss last year of €48 million (£41.6m).

More than half of the results were down to the group’s automobiles businesses.

FGA closed the first quarter of this year with a trading profit of €153 million (£132m), compared with a €30 million (£26m) trading loss for Q1 2009.

Much of the demand was down to scrappage schemes in several western European markets.

However, market share was down 0.8% in its home market of Italy and was down 0.3% in Europe.

In Europe deliveries for Fiat Group Automobiles increased 13.4% to 330,200 units. Volume increases were significant in Italy (+31.0%), France (+17.4%), the UK (+42.2%) and Spain, where deliveries essentially tripled.

There was a decisive drop in Germany (-60.8%), reflecting a fall in the market following the end of scrappage.

For passenger cars only, Fiat delivered 437,800 vehicles during the first three months, a 9.8% increase over the first three months of 2009.

In the UK it saw passenger car sales increase by 41.3%.

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