General Motors has reason to celebrate its global financial performance in the first quarter of 2015 thanks to gains in practically every important metric. The strong numbers were aided by selling 2.4 million vehicles worldwide during the period, a two-percent jump from Q1 2014.

GM posted adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $2.1 billion, compared to $500 million in Q1 2014. Net income was also up to $900 million, versus $100 million in the previous period. Although revenue shrunk slightly to $35.7 billion, which contrasts with $37.4 billion last year. "Key vehicles like our recently launched full and mid-size trucks, and our cost discipline helped us deliver a solid quarter," Chuck Stevens, GM chief financial officer, said in the announcement.

The automaker did have some setbacks to deal with though. Scaling back Russian operations in March cost $400 million. Also, the ongoing ignition switch compensation resulted in a $100 million increase in the estimated costs for that program.

Regionally, North America showed adjusted earnings of $2.2 billion, the best number since 2009, and sales were up six percent. In part, that was helped by a 31-percent increase in trucks and 19-percent jump for crossovers from Chevrolet in the US.

Elsewhere, Europe lost $200 million, but that's compared to a $300 million loss in Q1 2014. South America showed no change from last year with $200 million in the red, and the company's international operations made $400 million. Sales in China were especially good with a nine percent boost, including a 23 percent increase just for Cadillac there.

Based on these results, GM expects earnings to grow through the end of 2015, compared to last year.
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GM Reports Solid First Quarter Operating Performance
Reaffirms 2015 outlook
2015-04-23

EBIT-adjusted of $2.1 billion, up $0.3 billion from Q1 2014, excluding recalls

Repurchased 10 million shares for approximately $0.4 billion

GM North America EBIT-adjusted best since company was established in 2009, expanding core operating margin for seventh straight quarter year over year

GM Europe increased Opel/Vauxhall share in 11 markets and improved operating performance, despite Russia market challenges

First quarter net income of $0.9 billion, up $0.8 billion from first quarter 2014

EPS of $0.56, EPS adjusted for special items of $0.86

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today announced first quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $0.9 billion, or $0.56 per diluted share. The current quarter included a net loss from special items of $0.5 billion, or $(0.30) per diluted share.

Special items in the quarter included $0.4 billion related to the decision to change the company's business model in Russia and $0.1 billion for an adjustment to the estimated costs of the ignition switch compensation program.

In the first quarter of 2014, GM's net income attributable to common stockholders was $0.1 billion, or $0.06 per diluted share, including a net loss from special items of $0.4 billion or $(0.23) per diluted share, and the impact of recall-related pre-tax costs of $1.3 billion, or $(0.48) per diluted share.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) adjusted was $2.1 billion and included the impact of $0.1 billion in restructuring costs. This compares to the first quarter of 2014, when the company recorded EBIT-adjusted of $0.5 billion, which included recall-related pre-tax costs of $1.3 billion and $0.3 billion in restructuring costs.

Net revenue in the first quarter of 2015 was $35.7 billion, compared to $37.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014.

"Our results in the first quarter provide a solid foundation to achieve our financial commitments for the year," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "Continued execution of our plan, including our capital allocation framework, will drive profitable growth, return on invested capital and shareholder value."

GM Results Overview (in billions except for per share amounts and ROIC)

Q1 2015

Q1 2014

Revenue

$35.7

$37.4

Net income attributable to common stockholders

$0.9

$0.1

Earnings per share (EPS) diluted

$0.56

$0.06

Impact of special items on EPS diluted

$(0.30)

$(0.23)

EBIT-adjusted

$2.1

$0.5

Automotive net cash flow from operating activities

$0.0

$2.0

Adjusted automotive free cash flow

$(1.7)

$0.2

% Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)

19.5

16.9


Segment Results

GM North America reported EBIT-adjusted of $2.2 billion. This compares with EBIT-adjusted of $0.6 billion in the first quarter of 2014, which included the impact of a $1.3 billion pre-tax charge for recall costs.

GM Europe reported EBIT-adjusted of $(0.2) billion. This compares with EBIT-adjusted of $(0.3) billion in the first quarter of 2014, which included $0.2 billion for restructuring costs.

GM International Operations reported EBIT-adjusted of $0.4 billion, compared with EBIT-adjusted of $0.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014.

GM South America reported EBIT-adjusted of $(0.2) billion, approximately equal to the first quarter of 2014.

GM Financial reported earnings before tax of $0.2 billion, matching its results for the first quarter of 2014.

"Key vehicles like our recently launched full and mid-size trucks, and our cost discipline helped us deliver a solid quarter," said Chuck Stevens, GM executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We continue to take decisive actions to address issues head-on and to drive the company to generate strong results."

Cash Flow, Capital Return, Liquidity and ROIC

First quarter automotive cash flow from operating activities of $0.0 billion and adjusted automotive free cash flow of $(1.7) billion, were down from $2.0 billion and $0.2 billion a year ago, respectively. The declines in automotive operating and adjusted automotive free cash flows were primarily related to one extra weekly payment cycle to suppliers during the quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago, and cash payments related to recalls and restructuring.

Since announcing its $5 billion common stock repurchase program on March 9, 2015, GM has repurchased 19.4 million shares through April 21. Of this total, 10 million shares were repurchased through the March 31 trading date for approximately $0.4 billion. Additionally, GM paid common stock dividends of approximately $0.5 billion to shareholders during the quarter.

GM ended the quarter with strong total automotive liquidity of $34.2 billion. Automotive cash and marketable securities was $22.1 billion compared with $25.2 billion at year-end 2014.

As previously announced, GM will reinvest in its business with the objective of driving 20 percent or higher average return on invested capital (ROIC) through investments in world-class vehicles and leading technology. Beginning this quarter, the company will report trailing four quarter ROIC. On this basis, ROIC at the end of the quarter was 19.5 percent, compared to 16.9 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Based on its first quarter results, the company reaffirmed the 2015 annual outlook it communicated on January 14. GM expects its total EBIT adjusted and EBIT-adjusted margin to increase in 2015, compared to 2014, after adjusting 2014 for the impact of recall costs, with improved automotive results anticipated in all regions.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Daewoo, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

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GM Sold 2.4 Million Vehicles Globally in First Quarter
2015-04-21

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sold 2.4 million vehicles globally in the first quarter of 2015, up 2 percent compared to a year ago. Sales in China increased 9 percent and deliveries in North America were up 6 percent. Opel/Vauxhall increased its sales by 3 percent in Europe.

"The momentum our brands are building in China, the U.S. and Western Europe more than offset difficult conditions in some other large markets like Russia and Brazil," said GM CEO Mary Barra.

"We are in the early days of a very aggressive onslaught of new products and customer-driven innovation," she said. "Already, the Chevrolet Trax and Colorado are redefining segments in the United States, Cadillac is growing rapidly in China and establishing a new formula for prestige sedans with the CT6 and Opel's revitalization is accelerating across Europe. At the same time, we are deploying OnStar with 4G LTE in North America, Europe and China to give our customers the best connectivity experience in the industry."

Other first quarter global sales highlights:

Cadillac was up 2.5 percent, driven by a 23-percent increase in China.

Opel/Vauxhall's sales increase outpaced the European region's growth by 0.2 percentage points.
Buick was up 8 percent.

GMC was up 15 percent, for its best first quarter sales since 2005.

Chevrolet deliveries in the United States increased 5 percent on the strength of a 19 percent increase in crossover deliveries and a 31 percent increase in truck sales. Deliveries in China were up 7 percent.

In prior quarters, GM reported wholesale deliveries in China, which are vehicles sold to dealers. Beginning this quarter, GM is reporting deliveries to customers.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

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