GM's Profit More than Doubles

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The GM Buick Envision sports utility vehicle is displayed during the 2016 New York International Auto Show in New York on March 24. Healthy sales of trucks and sport utilities in North America continued to drive GM’s profits ENLARGE
The GM Buick Envision sports utility vehicle is displayed during the 2016 New York International Auto Show in New York on March 24. Healthy sales of trucks and sport utilities in North America continued to drive GM’s profits Photo: Bloomberg News

General Motors Co.’s first-quarter net profit more than doubled compared with the same period in the prior year as strong truck sales in the U.S. and improving performance in Europe offset weaker market conditions in Asia and South America.

GM reported net income attributable to common shareholders of $2.0 billion, or $1.24 a share (diluted, after special charges), up from $900 million, or 56 cents a share a year earlier.

The results beat analyst expectations of $1 a share. The company’s closely watched North American operating margin slipped modestly, however, despite several measures taken to boost that number over the first three months of the year.

Revenue increased 4% to $37.3 billion, up from $35.7 billion in the same period year ago.

Healthy sales of trucks and sport utilities in North America continued to drive GM’s profits, despite a decline in U.S. market share that the auto maker pinned to lower fleet sales. GM also broke even in Europe, up from a $200 million loss in the same period a year ago. The company appears on target to make money in the region this year,an important milestone in Chief Executive Mary Barra’s long-term plan.

Equity income from GM’s Chinese joint ventures was flat compared with the same period in 2015 at $518 million, while GM South America trimmed its losses by roughly $150 million.

Gautham Nagesh at gautham.nagesh@wsj.com



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