Italy's Fiat, which runs Chrysler in the United States, said on Wednesday its first-quarter profit tripled to 37 million euros ($54 million) from 13 million euros in the same period last year.
But the result was far below market expectations. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a net profit of 91 million euros. The group's current profit rose 9.1 percent to 251 million euros over the 12 months and turnover advanced 7.1 percent to 9.21 billion euros.
Fiat also confirmed its financial targets for this year, with a trading profit forecast at between 900 million euros and 1.2 billion euros. Net profit over the year is expected to be 300 million euros.
The results were boosted by luxury brands Ferrari and Maserati, as well as Fiat's car parts division. The Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands were down largely because of a plunge in European car sales due to the economic crisis.