News Column

Ford Posts Annual Results

February 3, 2014

Ford Motor Company reported 2013 full year pre-tax profit of $8.6 billion , one of the company's best years ever, driven by the highest automotive pre-tax profit in more than a decade and continued solid profit from Ford Credit . In a release on January 28 , the company noted that full year pre- tax profit of $8.6 billion was an increase of $603 million compared with a year ago; full year earnings of $1.62 per share were an increase of 21 cents . Net income of $7.2 billion , or $1.76 per share, was higher than a year ago, including pre-tax special item charges of $1.6 billion and favorable tax special items of $2.2 billion . Pre-tax special item charges included $856 million for separation-related actions, primarily in Europe to support the company's transformation plan, and $594 million associated with Ford's completed U.S. salaried retiree voluntary lump sum payout program as part of its pension de-risking strategy. The favorable tax special items include the impact of an increase in deferred tax assets related to investments in European operations and the release of valuation allowances held against U.S. state and local deferred tax assets. Fourth quarter pre-tax profit was $1.3 billion , a decrease of $402 million compared with 2012; fourth quarter earnings per share of 31 cents were the same as a year ago. Ford has posted a pre-tax profit for 18 consecutive quarters. Fourth quarter net income was $3 billion , or 74 cents per share. Ford generated positive Automotive operating-related cash flow of $500 million in the fourth quarter -- the 15th consecutive quarter of positive performance -- and record positive Automotive operating- related cash flow of $6.1 billion for the full year. Ford ended 2013 with Automotive gross cash of $24.8 billion , exceeding debt by $9.1 billion , and a strong liquidity position of $36.2 billion , an increase of $1.7 billion from year-end 2012. "We had an outstanding year in 2013, demonstrating that our One Ford plan continues to drive solid results and profitable growth for all," said Alan Mulally , Ford president and CEO. "We are well positioned for another solid year in 2014, as we continue our plan to serve customers in all markets around the world with a full family of vehicles -- small, medium and large; cars, utilities and trucks -- with the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value." As a result of Ford's 2013 financial performance, the company will make record profit-sharing payments to approximately 47,000 eligible U.S. hourly employees on March 13 . As part of the UAW-Ford collective bargaining agreement, Ford North America pre-tax profits of $8.8 billion will generate profit-sharing payments of approximately $8,800 per eligible employee on a full year basis. Individual profit sharing payments may be higher or lower based on employee compensated hours. Worldwide, Ford's pension plans were underfunded by $9 billion at year-end 2013, about $6 billion of which is associated with unfunded plans. In total, this represents an improvement of about $10 billion compared with a year ago, driven primarily by higher discount rates and cash contributions. The company made $5 billion in cash contributions in 2013 to its worldwide funded plans, up $1.6 billion compared with a year ago. For 2014, cash contributions to funded plans are expected to be $1.5 billion globally, most of which is mandatory. This is $3.5 billion lower than last year reflecting the company's improved funded status. Total Automotive fourth quarter wholesale volume and revenue both increased from a year ago. The higher volume primarily reflects higher industry volumes in all regions and higher market shares in North America and Asia Pacific Africa. Lower dealer stock increases this year compared with a year ago were a partial offset. The higher net revenue reflects favorable mix, higher net pricing and the volume increase. Operating margin and pre-tax profit were lower than a year ago. Full year volume and revenue were higher than a year ago by 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Operating margin and Automotive pre-tax profit also were higher. "The company had an outstanding year, earning a profit that was higher than last year's strong performance and one of our best years ever," said Bob Shanks , executive vice president and chief financial officer. "Our results were driven by record profits in North America and Asia Pacific Africa, improved results in Europe and another solid year from Ford Credit ." The fourth quarter results were driven by a strong industry, a robust full-size pickup segment, Ford's strong product lineup, growth in U.S. market share, continued discipline in matching production to real demand and a lean cost structure -- even as the company invested more in product and capacity for future growth. North America achieved a pre-tax profit of $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter, about $200 million lower than last year's record profit. Higher cost, mainly warranty and structural, and lower net pricing were offset partially by favorable volume and mix. The higher warranty expense of about $300 million was associated primarily with the Escape 1.6- liter recall announced in the fourth quarter. Wholesale volume and revenue grew modestly in the fourth quarter. The volume improvement reflected higher U.S. industry sales, increasing from a SAAR of 15.4 million to 16 million units, and higher U.S. market share; partial offsets were unfavorable changes in dealer stocks and lower volume in non-U.S. markets. The higher revenue primarily reflected the volume increase and favorable mix. For the full year, wholesale volume and revenue both improved 11 percent compared with 2012. North America's operating margin was 9.9 percent, half of a percentage point lower than a year ago, while pre- tax profit was $8.8 billion , up about $400 million . South America continues to execute the company's strategy of expanding its product lineup and progressively replacing legacy products with global One Ford offerings. South America's pre-tax loss of $126 million in the fourth quarter was a decrease of $271 million compared with the prior year. Higher costs, unfavorable volume and mix, and unfavorable exchange were offset partially by higher net pricing. The higher net pricing reflects partial recovery of the adverse effects of high local inflation and weaker local currencies, along with pricing associated with the company's new products. In the fourth quarter, wholesale volume and revenue decreased by 6 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from a year ago. The lower volume is more than explained by plant downtime in Brazil in preparation for new products in 2014 and lower production in Venezuela resulting from limited availability of U.S. dollars. The revenue decline primarily reflects unfavorable exchange, volume, and mix, offset partially by higher net pricing. South America's full year wholesale volume and revenue both improved 8 percent compared with last year. Operating margin was negative 0.3 percent and the pre-tax loss was $34 million , both lower than positive results a year ago. In the fourth quarter 2013, Ford continued to implement its transformation plan for Europe . Europe's fourth quarter pre-tax loss of $571 million was $161 million better than a year ago, explained by favorable market factors and other items, including higher parts and services profit, offset partially by unfavorable exchange and higher costs. In the fourth quarter, wholesale volume was down 3 percent from a year ago, but revenue improved by 10 percent. The volume decrease is more than explained by unfavorable changes in dealer stocks and lower volume in markets outside the 19 European markets Ford tracked. Europe's higher revenue mainly reflects favorable mix. Europe's full year wholesale volume and revenue were up less than 1 percent and 5 percent, respectively, from a year ago. Operating margin was negative 5.8 percent and the pre-tax loss was $1.6 billion , both improved from a year ago, despite higher restructuring costs of about $400 million and lower industry volume. Europe's commercial vehicle market share for 2013 was 9.2 percent, an increase of 0.7 percentage points compared with 2012. Ford was the fastest-growing commercial vehicle brand in Europe in 2013, and the Transit nameplate was the leader in the commercial van segment. Ford's strategy in Asia Pacific Africa is to grow aggressively with an expanding portfolio of global One Ford products with manufacturing hubs in China , India and ASEAN. Asia Pacific Africa reported a fourth quarter record pre-tax profit of $106 million , an improvement of $67 million compared with a year ago. Market factors were favorable as were other factors, mainly reflecting higher royalties from joint ventures and an insurance recovery. Higher costs, as Ford continues to invest for future growth, were a partial offset. In the fourth quarter, wholesale volume was up 29 percent from a year ago, and net revenue, which excludes the company's China joint ventures, grew 16 percent. Ford's wholesale volume in China was up 45 percent in the fourth quarter and about 50 percent for the full year. The higher volume in the region mainly reflects improved market share. Higher industry volume, increasing from a SAAR of 33.1 million units to 38.1 million units and favorable changes in dealer stocks also contributed. Higher revenue primarily reflects favorable volume and mix. Fourth quarter market share in the region was 3.9 percent, half of a percentage point higher than a year ago and a quarterly record. The improvement was driven by China , where Ford's market share improved half of a percentage point to a record 4.4 percent, reflecting mainly strong sales of EcoSport and Kuga . For the full year, wholesale volume and revenue improved 30 percent and 17 percent, respectively, compared with a year ago. Operating margin was 3.5 percent and pre-tax profit was a record $415 million , both substantially improved from last year's results. Other Automotive The full year loss of $656 million in Other Automotive reflects net interest expense, offset partially by a favorable fair market value adjustment on the company's investment in Mazda . In the fourth quarter, total company production was about 1.6 million units, 79,000 units higher than a year ago. This is 23,000 units lower than Ford's most recent guidance. For the full year, Ford produced 6.4 million units, up 646,000 from a year ago. The company expects first quarter production to be about 1.6 million units, up 43,000 units from a year ago, reflecting higher volume in Asia Pacific Africa. Compared with the fourth quarter, first quarter production is up 38,000 units. Ford Motor Credit Company Ford Credit's fourth quarter pre-tax profit of $368 million decreased $46 million from a year ago, primarily reflecting unfavorable residual performance related to lower auction values and lower financing margin, both in North America , as well as credit loss reserve changes. These factors were partially offset by higher volume. The improvement of $59 million in Ford Credit's full year pre- tax profit is more than explained by higher volume, primarily in North America , driven by an increase in leasing reflecting changes in Ford's marketing programs, as well as higher non-consumer finance receivables due to higher dealer stocks. Higher credit losses due to lower credit loss reserve reductions in all geographic segments and unfavorable residual performance related to lower than expected auction values in North America were partial offsets. Ford Credit remains key to Ford's global growth strategy, providing world-class dealer and customer financial services, maintaining a strong balance sheet, and producing solid profits and distributions. Other Financial Services Other Financial Services had a fourth quarter and full year loss of $13 million and $84 million , respectively. The full year decrease of $97 million from the prior year is more than explained by lower profits from the liquidation of a portfolio of Volvo finance receivables that was not included in Ford's sale of the Volvo auto business in 2010 and charges related to the sale of the portfolio in 2013. Outlook Total Company In 2014, Ford is continuing to invest to create innovative products such as the all-new F-150 to ensure Ford has the freshest and most attractive product line-up in the industry. At the same time, Ford is investing to expand its portfolio into new markets, as well as adding capacity, where appropriate, to satisfy increasing demand. As a result, Ford expects 2014 to be another solid year and a critical next step forward in implementing its One Ford plan to continue delivering profitable growth for all. "This year will be an important next step as we build an exciting, stronger growing business based on outstanding products that customers want and value around the world," said Mulally. North America Ford expects North America to be strongly profitable in 2014, but at a lower level than in 2013, with an operating margin ranging from 8 percent to 9 percent. This outlook reflects the impact of launching 16 all-new or significantly refreshed products. As a result, Ford expects production downtime for model change-overs to result in lower wholesale volume than in 2013. For the all-new F- 150, Ford is scheduling this year 11 weeks of production downtime, including the summer shutdown, at its Dearborn plant and two weeks, including the summer shutdown, at its Kansas City plant. Ford expects net pricing in 2014 to be slightly unfavorable as it runs out the outgoing models and assumes a continuation of a more competitive pricing environment for small and medium cars and utilities due to the weaker yen. Ford also expects higher manufacturing, engineering and spending-related costs to support the launches, as well as for products and capacity actions that will be launched in later periods. Finally, Ford will not benefit this year from dealer stock increases as it did in 2013. South America In South America , results are expected to be about equal to 2013, or about breakeven. This outlook reflects improved profitability in Brazil and Argentina , offset by deterioration in Venezuela , including very low levels of production and Ford's planning assumption that a major devaluation with a $350 million profit effect will occur in the first quarter. There are risks to this outlook, however, given the volatility of the situation in Venezuela and increasing risks in Argentina , where devaluation of the peso is accelerating and the government recently issued controls on vehicle imports. Europe In Europe , Ford expects reduced losses in 2014, including restructuring costs of about $400 million that will be reported in 2014 operating results. The Europe transformation plan continues to progress well and the business unit remains on track to achieve profitability in 2015. Middle East and Africa Ford's new Middle East and Africa business unit is expected to approach breakeven results in 2014. Asia Pacific Asia Pacific pre-tax profit is expected to be about the same as 2013, reflecting continued investments to support growth in 2014 and beyond, a slower rate of revenue and volume growth than a year ago due to production constraints and a more competitive pricing environment, and finally, unfavorable results in Australia as Ford restructures the business and reflects the effects of a weakening Australian dollar. Net Interest Expense Ford expects Automotive net interest expense this year to be about the same as 2013. Ford Credit Ford Credit expects 2014 pre-tax profit about equal to 2013. Ford Credit also expects managed receivables at year- end of about $110 billion , managed leverage to continue in the range of 8:1 to 9:1 and distributions to its parent of about $250 million . 2014 Planning Assumptions and Key Metrics For 2014, Ford projects U.S. industry volume, including medium- heavy trucks, to range from 16 million to 17 million units. In Europe , the company expects a range of 13.5 million to 14.5 million units. In China , Ford expects volume to range from 22.5 million to 24.5 million units. For Ford's financial metrics, which are now aligned to the key drivers of total shareholder return, Ford expects Automotive revenue in 2014 to be about the same as 2013, Automotive operating margin to be lower, and Automotive operating-related cash flow to be positive but substantially lower than 2013, including higher capital spending consistent with Ford's mid-decade outlook of about $7.5 billion . Ford Credit's 2014 pre-tax profit is expected to be about equal to 2013. Ford's outlook for 2014 is unchanged with total company pre-tax profit expected to range from $7 billion to $8 billion . One Ford Plan Ford remains focused on delivering the key aspects of the One Ford plan, which are unchanged: -Aggressively restructuring to operate profitably at the current demand and changing model mix -Accelerating the development of new products that customers want and value -Financing the plan and improving the balance sheet -Working together effectively as one team, leveraging Ford's global assets Ford Motor Company manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. More information: ((Comments on this story may be sent to ))

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