DETROIT -- General Motors said its first-quarter net income declined to $1 billion, as a stout performance in North American was partially offset by continued troubles in Europe.
Profit for the January-March period included a one-time loss related to goodwill impairment, mostly tied to changes in accounting for GM's pensions in Europe. Those charges reduced net by $612 million. Excluding those charges, GM earned $1.62 billion.
The $1 billion net profit was down from $3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2011. In that quarter, GM's earnings were padded by $1.5 billion in one-time gains, including a sale of stock that GM owned in supplier Delphi Automotive. Excluding those, GM earned $2 billion that quarter before interest and taxes.
The bulk of first-quarter 2012 earnings came from North America, where GM reaped $1.69 billion in earnings before interest and taxes, up 35 percent. GM's European unit, Opel, posted a $256 million loss, its best result since the second quarter of 2011, when it managed a small profit.
GM's overall revenue rose 4 percent to $37.8 billion.