Fiat Chrysler profit rises 50 percent but sales remain flat

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday reported a 50 percent increase in third quarter net earnings, with all markets contributing to growth even as sales were flat globally.

FCA, as the company is known, said net profit rose to 910 million euros ($1 billion) in the three months ending Sept. 30, from 606 million euros in the same period last year. Revenues slid 2 percent to 26.4 billion euros, with deliveries stable at 1.12 million units.

Earnings before interest and taxes were a record 1.7 billion euros, a 17 percent increase over the same period last year.

FCA maintained full-year earnings guidance of 3 billion euros on revenues of between 115 billion and 120 billion euros.

The North American market remained the revenue maker, accounting for nearly two thirds of the group total, while margins bumped up 4 percentage points to 8 percent.

Shipments in the region were down 6 percent as fleet sales took a hit and the carmaker continued to realign its product offerings in favor of Jeep and Ram and away from unprofitable sedans. Sales of the premium Italian sports car brand Alfa Romeo's Stelvio sport utility vehicle and Giulia sedan helped offset lower volumes due to discontinued vehicles.

Latin America returned to profits, while all other regions showed gains.

The Italian luxury brand Maserati saw earnings rise 10 percent to 113 million euros with margins boosted by lower costs. Shipments totaled 10,900 units, up slightly as higher sales of the Levante SUV balanced lower volumes of the Quattroporte sedan.

Shares in the Italian-American carmaker were trading up 2.3 percent at 14.43 in Milan.