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GM sees profits decline 13.8% in first quarter

Keywords: Tags  General Motors, earnings report, automotive, auto sales, Dan Akerson, Dan Ammann, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — General Motors Co.’s first-quarter net income fell 13.8 percent to $865 million from slightly more than $1 billion in the same period last year on sales that dropped 2.3 percent to $36.88 billion.

The Detroit-based automaker experienced weaker revenues across the globe. North American sales slipped 0.8 percent to $22.98 billion, European sales fell 8.3 percent to $4.82 billion, South American sales were down 4.6 percent to $3.69 billion and sales by the company’s international operations segment—the Asia-Pacific region, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East—fell 3.9 percent to $4.82 billion.

North American retail sales totaled 762,000 vehicles in the first quarter, up 8.2 percent from 704,000 a year earlier, and GM’s market share in North America improved by 0.4 percentage point to 17.1 percent. European retail sales fell 6.3 percent to 373,000 vehicles from 398,000, but its market share inched up 0.1 percentage point to 8.3 percent.

GM has added 4,000 employees in North America since December, primarily due to the insourcing of certain information technology support functions that previously were provided by outside parties, but has cut 1,000 jobs in Europe over the same period.

"The year is off to a solid start, as we increased our global share with strong new products," chairman and chief executive officer Dan Akerson said in a statement.

"In the automotive business, outstanding product is what wins," said senior vice president and chief financial officer Dan Ammann. "With more than 40 new vehicle introductions this year globally, our focus will be on flawless launches of the vehicles that will drive results this year and into 2014."

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