RECORD PROFIT YEAR: US automaker General Motors recorded a pretax earnings of over $11-billion for 2015, paving the way for their 49 600 hourly workers to benefit from an $11 000 bonus. Image: AFP
Detroit, Michigan - Strong earnings in North America and China and a reversal of fortunes in Europe powered General Motors to a record net profit of $9.7-billion in 2015.
The profit more than doubled GM's 2014 earnings and was aided by a $3.9 billion fourth-quarter accounting gain because prospects for turning a profit in Europe are good. The company expects to break even there this year.
Excluding special items, GM earned $5.02 per share in 2015, beating Wall Street estimates of $4.82. Profits were fueled by strong SUV and truck sales largely in North America.
Huge worker bonus
Full-year revenue fell just over 2% to $152.4-billion, but still beat analyst estimates of $144.9-billion.
Earnings were so strong that most of GM's 49 600 hourly workers will get $11 000 profit-sharing checks on February 26. The checks were based on North American pretax earnings, which hit a record of just over $11-billion for the year.
CEO Mary Barra said: "We continue to strengthen our core business, which is laying the foundation for the company to lead in the transformation to personal mobility."
GM recently invested $500-million in ride-hailing service Lyft and has announced plans to start its own car-sharing services in metro areas worldwide as it prepares for the next generation of transportation.
For the fourth quarter, GM posted a $6.3-billion net profit. Without special items, the company earned $1.39 per share, beating estimates of $1.20.
Fourth-quarter revenue was flat at $39.6-billion, just below Wall Street estimates.
Its shares jumped 38 cents, or 1.3% , to $30.03 in premarket trading about an hour and half before the market open.