Fiat dollars 1bn in red as sales dip 15%

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The Independent Online
TURIN (Reuter) - Fiat, Italy's largest private company, yesterday announced losses of dollars 1.05bn in 1993, the first deficit in more than a decade, as European car sales slumped 15 per cent. The company made a dollars 324m profit in 1992.

Consolidated revenue was dollars 32.5bn compared with dollars 33bn last year, according to a 30-page letter to shareholders. Giovanni Agnelli, chairman, said 'all elements of the economic crisis worsened' in 1993. 'It would be a grave error to think that the solution to our problems is already in an advanced phase.'

Fiat's net profits have steadily plummeted from dollars 969m in 1990. Last week, the company broke off talks with unions over plans to lay off nearly 12,000 workers.

Car sales were dollars 14.7bn compared with dollars 16.6bn in 1992. The decline was partially offset by rises in sales at the agriculture, aviation and insurance operations, which combined for a dollars 909m increase in 1993. Sales and revenue also improved at the chemicals and railroad divisions.

Fiat's share of the car market in Europe slipped to 11.2 from 11.9 per cent while market share in Italy was steady at about 4 per cent. In Brazil, market share rose to 22 per cent, in Argentina to 30 per cent and in Turkey to 46 per cent.