MILAN -- Italian automotive design company Pininfarina forecasts a return to profit in 2012, its first since 2004, as lower financial charges from a debt restructuring help its bottom line and its design and engineering business improves.
"The company's debt restructuring enables us to say for the first time in five years that our survival is no longer at risk," said Chairman Paolo Pininfarina, the grandson of the family-controlled group's founder Battista Farina.
Pininfarina has designed cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, and Cadillac, among others. It shut down its manufacturing operations to focus solely on design after a 2009 capital increase.
A 182.6 million-debt restructuring signed in April extended the company's repayment plan from 2015 to 2018.
Pininfarina said in a statement on Friday it expects to make an operating loss in 2012, but will earn a net profit because it will benefit from a one-time gain of around 45 million euros.
Pininfarina's first-quarter loss narrowed to 3.1 million euros from a previous loss of 6.5 million euros the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose to 15.7 million euros from 13.4 million euros.
Earlier this month, CEO Silvio Pietro Angori said that China will pass Germany this year to become the company's biggest market. China and Germany each currently generates about 35 percent of the company's revenue. Italy contributes about 20 percent and other markets generate the rest, Angori said.
Source: Reuters and Automotive News Europe