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Ford  Blue oval blues: Ford Australia has taken a financial hit, but market share has tilted upwards this year.

Blue oval blues: Ford Australia has taken a financial hit, but market share has tilted upwards this year.

Third consecutive operating loss announced by Ford Australia

FORD Australia today announced a net after-tax operating loss of $274.4 million for 2008 – its worst financial result and more than triple the $87.1 million loss it posted in 2007.

The result is the third consecutive annual operating loss recorded by Ford Australia since 2005, when it posted a $148 million profit ahead of a $40 million loss in 2006.

GM Holden is yet to announce its financial results for 2008 but reported a $6 million loss in 2007 – a vast improvement on its $146 million and $145 million losses in 2006 and 2005 respectively.

Toyota Australia is also yet to reveal its financial performance during its previous fiscal year (ending on March 31), but posted $242 million and $184 million profits in 2007/08 and 2006/07 respectively.

Ford said its net sales revenue for 2008 was $3.29 billion – down about 7.5 per cent or $168 million from a year ago – from total sales of 108,564 vehicles including exports (down 5319 on 2007 figures).

However, it pointed out that the launch of the last year’s new FG Falcon range and continued cost-cutting helped offset the decline in automotive sales in Australia last year, when it improved its underlying financial result on a pre-tax operating basis.

Ford center imageLeft: Ford Australia president Marin Burela.

Excluding financing costs of $74 million and special charges totalling $313 million on an after-tax basis, Ford Australia posted an underlying operating loss of $14 million, compared to a $99 million loss in 2007 – up $85 million.

Ford said special items included $151 million in accounting adjustments for the company's defined benefit superannuation fund, $110 million in restructuring costs including voluntary redundancies during 2008 and $52 million in the reduced value of certain long-lived assets.

Ford Australia president and CEO Marin Burela said today Ford had endured a challenging year as the Australian market was affected by the global economic slowdown.

“But Ford Australia’s underlying business continued to improve with strong new vehicle launches and our continued progress in lowering costs and gaining efficiencies,” he said.

“We are continuing to improve our business fundamentals and implement our strategic plan as we move through 2009.

“We’ll continue with a laser focus delivering positive results, which included an increase in market share in May to 11.2 per cent. Ford is the only local manufacturer to have increased market share during 2009.

“Launches of exciting new products such as the all-new Fiesta, the updated Territory and Ranger and the Mondeo wagon, will continue to drive customers back to the Ford brand and increase our sales revenue.”

Read more:

Holden safe – and nearly back in the black

Toyota posts record profit

Holden narrows 2007 losses

Ford profit slumps

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