Ford posts lower Q1 income on weaker demand, special charges

Despite the setback, Ford performed well in its home market.

Ford has announced its first quarter financial results. The Dearborn-based automaker performed well in North America during Q1, but a number of other factors caused Ford's net income to slip during the period.

Ford posted a net income of $1.1 billion during Q1, representing a $600 million decline from the same period a year prior. However, Ford says that drop in income is the result of special item charges of about $600 million related to shuttering its heavy truck operations in South America and the restructuring of its Russian joint-venture.

Ford's net income was also impacted by lower volume. With fewer vehicles sold, Ford's revenue dipped $1.6 billion to $40.3 billion.

Ford also saw its profit margins slide during the period. During the first three months of the year Ford posted an average profit margin of 2.8 percent, down from 4.1 percent in Q1 of 2018.

Despite those setbacks, Ford performed well in North America on the back of strong truck and SUV sales. The company posted revenue of $25.4 billion in the region during the period, marking a year-over-year increase of $600 million. Ford's North American market share also jumped by 0.1 percent to 13.6 percent.

Outside of North America Ford posted an EBIT loss of $196 million, but that was actually an improvement of $632 million over the first quarter of last year.

"This quarter was a really good start for the year,” said Bob Shanks, Ford chief financial officer. "We expect first quarter EBIT to be the strongest of the year due to seasonal factors and major product launches ahead. It does, however, put us on track to deliver better company results in 2019 than last year.”

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