Cars

GM 1Q profit falls 14 pct; new pickups key to year

Results for Europe suggest GM’s cost cuts are starting to offset declining industrywide sales.
Results for Europe suggest GM’s cost cuts are starting to offset declining industrywide sales.Orlin Wagner /Associated Press/File 2013

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DETROIT — General Motors, after losing more than $18 billion in Europe since 1999, narrowed its first-quarter loss in the region, helping it beat analysts’ estimates.

GM’s European adjusted loss before interest and taxes was $175 million, versus $294 million a year earlier. Companywide profit excluding one-time items was 67 cents a share, exceeding the 54-cent average of 16 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The results in Europe suggest GM’s cost cuts are starting to offset declining industrywide sales, which are heading toward 20-year lows.

The largest US automaker in the fourth quarter took a $5.2 billion write-down of European assets to reflect tougher conditions.

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