Chrysler outstrips competitors

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(First Edition)

CHRYSLER, the third-ranking US car maker, continued to defy predictions of imminent death yesterday, reporting a profit of dollars 202m (pounds 127m) or 62 cents a share for the third quarter, making two consecutive quarterly gains while its competitors continue to sustain large losses, writes Larry Black.

The chairman, Lee Iacocca, presenting his final quarterly report before his retirement at the end of the year, said Chrysler's sales, led by its new LH car models, were up 15 per cent to dollars 9.2bn, a third-quarter record.

In the second quarter Chrysler earned dollars 178m. The last time Chrysler had consecutive profitable quarters was in the first half of 1990, before falling into its latest financial crisis.

'Reporting profitable quarters back-to-back while in the midst of the slowest economic recovery in decades makes today's announcement especially satisfying,' said Mr Iacocca, who has faced widespread criticism for the current precarious state of Chrysler's finances.

The third-quarter results, which compare to a loss a year ago of dollars 82m or 36 cents a share, include a dollars 101m charge to pay for the restructuring of Chrysler's car-hire fleet sales division, which has experienced heavy losses in recent years.