Pick-up trucks and SUVs lift GM profits

GMC Acadia SUV crossover Image copyright Getty Images

Sales of SUVs and pick-up trucks in North America helped General Motors to achieve improved profits last year.

It reported net income of $9.7bn (£6.7bn) compared with $2.8bn the previous year, although that was flattered by a gain of $3.9bn from the revaluation of tax assets in Europe.

Almost all of GM's profits were earned in North America.

Much of that profit growth was due to a 16% rise in sales of SUVs and pick-up trucks in the US.

The world's third-biggest carmaker reaffirmed its earlier forecast that it would increase earnings per share before exceptional items to between $5.25 and $5.75 this year, from $5.02 last year.

It plans to return $16bn to shareholders by the end of next year, including a $9bn share buyback programme.

"It was a strong year on many fronts, capped with record sales and earnings, and a substantial return of capital to our shareholders," said chairman and chief executive Mary Barra.

"We continue to strengthen our core business, which is laying the foundation for the company to lead in the transformation of personal mobility. We believe the opportunities this will create in connectivity, autonomous, car-sharing and electrification will set the stage for driving value for our owners for years to come."

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