Canadian Manufacturing

General motors expects modest pretax profit growth this year on strength of new models

Automaker rolling out an historic number of new models, plans to refresh 70 per cent of global products


DETROIT—General Motors expects only a modest increase in pretax profits this year as it rolls out multiple new cars and trucks worldwide.

The company also thinks global auto sales will grow modestly this year, driven by the U.S. and China, while European car sales fall.

The company told analysts at a Deutsche Bank industry conference in Detroit its pretax profit margin in North America should rise from eight to 10 per cent in the next three or four years.

Profit margin is a measure of how much the company earned after costs of doing business.

The automaker posted nearly $4-billion in net income during the first nine months of last year, including almost $1.5-billion in the third quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect GM to report $5.35-billion in net income when it posts 2012 earnings in a few weeks.

Pretax income is expected to be $6.58-billion.

Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann told the conference that GM is rolling out more new vehicles globally than at any time in the company’s history, targeting the two largest markets, the U.S. and China.

GM started its latest round of new products last year.

It plans to refresh 70 per cent of its global products by the end of 2013.

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