(Updates with closing share price in final paragraph.)
July 9 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., targeting an end to losses in Europe, maintained its forecast to return to profitability in the region by 2015, as it reported auto sales for the first six months that outpaced the broader industry.
“We are very, very pleased with where we are on our European transformation plan,” Stephen Odell, Ford’s Europe chief, told reporters today at the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
Auto sales in Europe are growing this year after falling to a two-decade low in 2013. The company has said it expects a smaller loss in the region this year and a return to profitability in 2015. The second-biggest U.S. automaker’s pretax operating loss in Europe narrowed to $194 million during the first quarter from a loss of $425 million during the same period last year.
Ford’s sales in Europe this year through June rose 6.6 percent from a year earlier, outpacing industry growth of 6.3 percent, the company said. For the first six months, the automaker’s market share in Europe, which it defines as 20 nations, was about 8 percent.
Ford added 1.9 percent to $17.43 at the close in New York, bringing the stock’s gain to 13 percent so far this year.