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From the Detroit Insider:

Ford reports $1.2 billion loss in first quarter

Results include $1.7 billion in charges for restructuring-related actions.

DEE-ANN DURBIN / Associated Press

DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. said Friday it lost $1.2 billion in the first quarter as revenues fell and the company started a massive and costly North American restructuring effort.

The loss of 64 cents per share compares to a net income of $1.2 billion, or 60 cents per share, in the January-March period of 2005. Sales fell 9 percent to $41.1 billion from $45.2 billion a year ago.

Ford said its results included a charge of $1.7 billion, or 61 cents per share, for costs associated with its Way Forward restructuring plan, which calls for cutting up to 30,000 jobs and closing 14 facilities by 2012. The charge includes the costs of layoffs and buyouts and pay for hourly workers whose plants have been idled.

Excluding one-time special items such as restructuring charges, Ford said it earned $458 million, or 24 cents per share.

Ford's North American automotive unit, which has been struggling with declining sales and high fixed costs, reported a pretax loss of $2.9 billion, including one-time items. Ford said that was primarily due to lower sales, increased incentives, acceleration of charges related to plant closings and losses at former Visteon Corp. plants now under the control of a Ford-managed entity.

Worldwide, Ford's automotive operations lost $2.7 billion pretax, compared with a profit of $473 million a year ago. That included $2.5 billion in one-time special items such as restructuring charges.

Ford's financial arm, Ford Motor Credit Co., earned $479 million for the quarter, down 33 percent from $710 million a year ago. The division said higher borrowing costs due to Ford's junk credit rating was partly to blame.

"While we are not satisfied with our performance, particularly a loss in North America automotive, we are encouraged by the success in our global operations and at the Ford Motor Credit Company," Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford said in a statement. "We have said we intend to restore automotive profitability in North America by no later than 2008 and we remain committed to deliver on our promise."
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