DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co., helped by a rebound in Europe, new models and higher transaction prices, reported a first-quarter profit of $2.6 billion Tuesday.
In the first quarter of 2010, Ford earned just over $2 billion. Ford's 2011 first quarter pre-tax operating profit was $2.8 billion, an increase of $827 million from the year-earlier period. Revenues totaled $33.1 billion, up $5 billion from a year ago, excluding year-earlier revenues from Volvo, which Ford subsequently sold.
"We continue to accelerate our One Ford plan around the world, delivering on our commitments to serve our global customers with a full family of best-in-class vehicles and deliver profitable growth for all, despite uncertain economic conditions," said CEO Alan Mulally in a statement.
Ford regained its footing in Europe in the first quarter, showing a pretax operating profit of $293 million, up from a profit of $107 million a year ago. Sales were up $1 billion to $8.7 billion in Europe.
In the fourth quarter, Ford reported an operating loss of $51 million in Europe that was blamed for Ford's failure to meet analyst expectations.
'Minimal' quake impact
Ford also said on Tuesday that last month's earthquake which has hurt the supply chain in Japan has had "minimal" impact on its business, and analysts said Ford may even stand to gain.
"Ford continues to get market share. We expect this trend will continue," said Channing Smith, co-manager of Capital Advisers Growth Fund, which owns Ford shares. "I think Ford and a lot of the other American automakers will take market share from the Japanese."
Ford is the first U.S. automaker to report earnings since the March earthquake in Japan jolted the global supply chain especially for Japanese makers.
While Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have said they expect deep cuts in production this year, Ford said its business will not be greatly affected.
Lewis Booth, Ford's CFO, said that so far the automaker has lost about 12,000 to 14,000 units of production in Asia, where it has shut several plants temporarily.
Any near-term production losses are likely to recover in late 2011 and into 2012, Ford said. Production in Ford's business regions outside of Asia have not yet seen much change.
Ford maintained its projections for North American production in the second quarter at 710,000 vehicles. For the first time, Ford disclosed its projected second-quarter global production figure of 1.46 million.
Reuters contributed to this report