Family-controlled Exor, the parent company of Italian car manufacturer Fiat, expects its massive €460.1 million jump in six-month profits to be followed by strong results for the last half of the year, according to a company spokesman.
“Exor's results consolidate the share of the profit of our main companies, included Fiat and Fiat Industrial. Both companies have published their own results and they are expecting an improvement on last year,” he said.
“Because of this, the year 2011 of Exor will show an improvement over 2010 results.”
During the first half of 2010, the company posted a consolidated profit of €25.1 million, but this rose to €477.2 million during the initial six months of this year.
The company attributed its improved half-year profits to better results reported by subsidiaries and associates, as well as higher dividends from investment holdings.
Family member John Elkann, the 35-year-old great-great-grandson of the Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli and CampdenFB’s 2011 top family business leader, currently heads Exor. It was set up as the Agnelli family's holding company in 2009 and is also listed on the Italian stock exchange.
Exor, which also controls Turin-based Juventus FC, announced plans to renew its buyback programme in May. The company has focused heavily on purchasing its own shares since its inception, but has increased this emphasis in recent months, with the shares bought becoming the company's treasury stock.
“We started a buyback programme in 2009, which has been renewed every year,” the spokesman said.
“The new important thing is that, with the current trends of the financial markets, Exor's board decided to gain more flexibility and to increase the amount available for the buyback.”
It has raised the maximum amount available to spend from €50 million to €100 million, using about €28.8 million of this over recent months when it purchased 691,000 shares.
Exor currently holds 3% of its own ordinary shares, 14.24% of preferred shares and 6.22% of saving shares, while the company is controlled by the Agnelli family through the Giovanni Agnelli E C Company, which is the private parent company owned by family members only. It currently owns 59.1% of Exor’s ordinary shares and 39.2% of preferred shares.