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Business & Finance

GM says earnings jump 72pc, cites improving auto demand in US, China

  • Car sales in North America fell compared with the year-ago period, but GM said US sales increased sequentially throughout the quarter.
Published November 5, 2020
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NEW YORK: General Motors reported a jump in third-quarter earnings Thursday as the auto giant cited strong recoveries in the US and China following a big sales hit amid the coronavirus pandemic.

GM scored a 72 percent increase in profit to $4.0 billion from the year-ago period on revenues of $35.5 billion, roughly flat compared with last year's level.

The better-than-expected results showed GM's ability to "manage the business through a global economy under severe stress," the company said.

Car sales in North America fell compared with the year-ago period, but GM said US sales increased sequentially throughout the quarter.

Pickup trucks remained popular sellers in the US, and the company said launches of new sport utility vehicles were greeted with strong demand by customers.

Lean inventories in the US following spring manufacturing plant closures boosted profit margins, along with cost-cutting measures.

Global car sales fell compared with the year-ago period and dropped in most regions. An exception was China, which scored an 11.9 percent increase in car sales from the year-ago period to 771,425 autos.

"Sales in the US and China are recovering faster than many people expected, and GM is benefiting from robust customer demand for new vehicles and services, especially our full-size pickups and SUVs," said Interim Chief Financial Officer John Stapleton.

Shares jumped 5.8 percent to $37.30 in pre-market trading.

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