Ford Motor Company has announced its second-quarter results for 2010, and the company says it earned $2.6b over the last three months on $2.9b in operating profit before special items. In a departure from the typical model for domestic automakers, Ford’s growth was largely driven by improvement in North American results: Ford earned $1.9b in pre-tax operating profits in North America after boosting its Ford brand to the top spot in the American market over the first six months of 2010. Ford earned $31.3b in Q2 revenue, a $4.5b improvement over Q2 2009 (a $7.4b improvement excluding Volvo). Ford’s operating cash flow improved by $2.6b despite ending the quarter with $21.9b in cash, a $3.4b drop since the end of Q1. However, that drop in cash-on-hand was the result of a $3.8b debt reduction, and Ford figures its total automotive liquidity (including all credit facilities) is $25.4b. Automotive debt was reduced by about $7b, to $27.3b, the result of both the UAW Retiree Medical Benefit trust buydown and a $3b repayment of a revolving credit line. The shutdown of Mercury has reportedly cost Ford about $229m so far, and Ford expects that amount to equal slightly under half of the total cost of eliminating the brand.
Ford’s results aren’t very surprising given the fact that it Ford brand outsold all other brands over the first half of 2010, but the healthy profit shows that a rumored dependence on fleet sales wasn’t enough of a factor to weaken Ford’s financial results. Though debt levels remain high and its overseas performance remains weak, Ford has proven once again that it’s the healthiest American automaker… if only in terms of its North American market performance.