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GM earnings jump 89% in fourth quarter

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WASHINGTON, Feb 14 AFP

February 15 2013, 03:07AM

General Motors' fourth quarter earnings jumped 89 per cent but were held back by $US700 million ($A680 million) in losses on its European operations, the company says.

The top US automaker earned a net $US892 million in the quarter to December 31, compared to $US472 million a year earlier.

The figures were buoyed by a turnaround in South America, where the company swung from a loss in the year-earlier quarter to a $US99 million gain, and in its Asia-Africa division, where earnings jumped $US100 million to $US473 million.

Earnings per share came in at 54 cents for the quarter, compared to 28 cents a year ago.

For the full year 2012 GM reported $US4.86 billion in net income - down 36 per cent from a year earlier, with special items having boosted 2011 earnings sharply and also taking nearly $US500 million from 2012's final figure.

"We recorded another solid year in 2012 as we grew the business, delivered a third straight year of profitability and took significant actions to put the company on a solid path for future growth," said Dan Akerson, chairman and chief executive.

"This year our priorities will be executing flawless new vehicle launches, controlling costs and delivering more vehicles to our customers at outstanding value."