MILAN — Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) posted a smaller-than-expected operating loss in the second quarter, as a small profit in North America helped to limit the damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FCA said on Friday it had an adjusted loss before interest and tax of 928 million euros ($1.1 billion) in April-June, versus a forecast 1.87 billion euro ($2.2 billion) loss in an analyst poll compiled by Reuters.

The group also said it made adjusted earnings before interest and tax of 39 million euros ($46.2 million) in North America, the home market of its Jeep and Ram brands, in the quarter.

Milan-listed FCA shares were up 1.2% at 1125 GMT, after being little changed before the results.

Chief Executive Mike Manley said the group's plants were up and running and car dealers were selling in showrooms and online, following disruptions caused by the pandemic.

"We have the flexibility and financial strength to push ahead with our plans," he said in a statement.

FCA, which is set to tie-up with Peugeot maker PSA to create Stellantis, the world's fourth largest carmaker, said on ongoing probe launched by European Commission competition authorities was not expected to delay the merger timetable.

Despite the pandemic, PSA earlier this week delivered a profit in the first half of the year and stuck to its medium-term margin goal.

FCA said its industrial free cash flow was minus 4.9 billion euros in the second quarter, with a slightly lower cash burn compared with January-March.

 

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