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Ford returns to profit for first time in 18 months

Ford, the family-controlled automaker, announced it has returned to profit in Q3 2009 – the first time it has done so since Q1 2008.

The Detroit-based group posted a net income of $997 million with pre-tax operating profits of $1.1 billion, an improvement of $3.9 billion from a year ago. On an after-tax basis, excluding special items, operating profit was $873 million in Q3 2009, compared with a loss of $3 billion a year ago.
 
"Despite the continued economic headwinds, we remain confident that we have the right plan and are taking the right actions to transform Ford into a lean company that delivers profitable growth for all our stakeholders," said non-family CEO Alan Mulally.
 
In a statement, Ford said it remains on track to achieve or exceed all of its 2009 financial targets, and that it has confidence that the global economy will be improving by 2011.

Despite the losses and difficulties of the last 18 months, Ford was the only major US carmaker to not receive state aid to stave off bankruptcy. The business is still 40% owned by the founding Ford family and in July the family reinforced its commitment to the company. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

William C Ford is chairman of the business founded by his great-grandfather in 1903. William is one of five family members on the payroll, which includes three fifth-generation cousins continuing the direct family involvement in the business.

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