General Motors has announced its biggest quarterly profit in six years. It was in the black for the second consecutive quarter. Net earnings were $1.3 billion, compared with $865 million in the first quarter.
Europe, where GM is still struggling to restructure its Opel/Vauxhall unit, remained a notable weak link with an operating loss of $160 million (125 million euros).
GM’s Chief Executive Ed Whitacre had said last week that the quarterly results would be “impressive.”
The 68-year old Whitacre also announced he will be stepping down at the start of September, to be replaced by GM board member Dan Akerson.
At the same time it was reported the carmaker had secured a $5 billion dollar credit facility. That would clear the way for it to return to the stock market, one year after emerging from bankruptcy.
Sources said that GM was about to file registration papers for an initial public offering of shares which would take place later this year.
The IPO filing would allow the US government to relinquish its majority stake. After bailing out General Motors, Washington ended up owning 61 percent of the company.