Chrysler reports $143 million operating profit in first quarter, has $9.8 billion in cash

Chrysler Group LLC posted a $143 million operating profit and showed positive cash flow in its first quarter of 2010. The company released its first financial report today ever since it left Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2009.

Chrysler, which lost $197 million on a net basis, said that the operating profit and positive cash flow are a result of cost cutting after its 2009 bankruptcy and the successful launch of establishing Ram as its own truck brand.

“The steady progression of our financial results from June through December 2009 shows that Chrysler is on track to meet the ambitious, yet achievable goals announced in November,” said CEO Sergio Marchionne. “As a result of improving trading margins, operational efficiencies and rigorous cost discipline, we continued to strengthen our cash position through 2009.”

Chrysler net revenues were up to $9.7 billion, a 3 percent increase from the $9.4 billion in revenues during the fourth quarter of 2009. The company closed the first quarter of 2010 with close to $7.4 billion in cash, up from $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter. Including government loans, Chrysler’s total available cash stands at $9.8 billion at the end of the first quarter. Chrysler said it lost $3.8 billion during the months after it came out of bankruptcy in June.

“This positive operating result in the first quarter is a concrete indication to our customers, dealers and suppliers that the 2010 targets we have set for ourselves are achievable,” Marchionne said. “We are also generating cash to finance the investments being made in our product portfolio and brand repositioning.”

– By: Omar Rana