GM Posts First Profit in Three Years

BY Carolyn O'Hara  May 17, 2010 at 11:25 AM EDT

General Motors headquarters in Detroit; AP file photo

General Motors announced Monday that, thanks to an uptick in sales plus lower debt and expenses after bankruptcy, it made $865 million in profit in the first quarter of this year — its first profit posting since the second quarter of 2007.

Just a year after losing $6 billion in the same quarter of 2009, the company says its revenue is up 40 percent.

“We’re pleased with our first quarter performance, in particular achieving profitability,” Chris Liddell, vice chairman and chief financial officer, said in a statement. “In North America we are adding production to keep up with strong demand for new products in our four brands. We’re also steadily growing in emerging markets, keeping our costs under control, generating positive cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet.”

In April, the company paid off the last of more than $8 billion in loans made to it by the U.S. and Canadian governments. In total, GM received more than $50 billion in assistance from the U.S. government, though the bulk of that came in exchange for federal ownership of 61 percent of the company. The government can recoup that money by selling stock. GM hopes to hold a public stock offering later this year.