Fiat Industrial's trading profit, sales gain in 2012

Firm announces big dividend, sales growth seen slowing in 2013

Fiat Industrial's trading profit, sales gain in 2012

Turin, January 31 - Fiat Industrial SpA reported healthy 2012 results Thursday with trading profit at 2.07 billion euros, a 23.3% jump on 2011, and with revenues up 6%, at 25.8 billion euros. The company, spun-off from carmaker Fiat SpA at the beginning of 2011, forecast its sales growth in 2013 would slow, to +5%, while operating margin would be between 8.3 and 8.5%. Net industrial debt in 2012 reached 1.6 billion euros, up by 400 million euros, and is forecast to be drop to between 1.1 and 1.4 billion euros this year. Fiat Industrial said strong sales at its agricultural and building machines unit CNH drove 2012 results, thanks to the unit's strong exposure to the U.S. market, where strong demand helped make up for the weaker performance in Europe. The Iveco commercial vehicles unit saw sales decline in the just-ended year, hit also by ''weaker market conditions in Latin America''. The company said it would pay a dividend of 275 million euros to shareholders - or 0.225 euros per share - in contrast to the Fiat auto unit, which on Wednesday said it would not pay a dividend in order to conserve cash because it wants to purchase the shares it already does not own in U.S. carmaker Chrysler. Last year the dividend take was set at 240 million euros, or 0.185 euros per ordinary share. Both companies are controlled by Italy's Agnelli family.

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