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by George Skentzos

This is certainly a headline no one expected to be reading anytime soon, but General Motors has just announced a first-quarter profit of $865 million for 2010.

This is a substantial improvement over its loss of nearly $6 billion for the first quarter of 2009, spurred on by the sale of Saab to Spyker Cars NV which GM reports as a gain of $123 million.

Revenue increased to $31.5 billion compared to just $22.4 billion in 2009, with GM also reporting an operating income of $1.2 billion.

GM’s first quarter adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) totalling $1.7 billion, up from a loss of $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter 2009.

“We’re pleased with our first quarter performance, in particular achieving profitability,” said Chris Liddell, vice chairman and chief financial officer. “In North America we are adding production to keep up with strong demand for new products in our four brands. We’re also steadily growing in emerging markets, keeping our costs under control, generating positive cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet. These are all important steps as we lay the foundation for a successful GM.”

GM anticipates that it will return to becoming a publicly traded company by the end of the year, with the government expected to relinquish its ownership inherited from its $50 billion in bailout financing.

The transition into profitability was not without casualties, having to lay off some 27,000 employees as well as the Hummer, Pontiac, Saturn and Saab brands.




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