DETROIT -- U.S. tax reform caused General Motors to report a loss of $4.9 billion (all figures USD) for the fourth quarter, while the company achieved record operating profit for the period.
Without the $7.3 billion noncash charge related to the tax overhaul, GM's net income would have increased by $1.9 billion compared with the same period in 2016.
The results are based on continuing operations, which do not include those such as its former Opel/Vauxhall business, sold by GM to PSA Group in 2017. Overall, the net loss was $5.15 billion, with a larger tax-related charge of $7.9 billion.
"The important aspect is to look at the operating results," GM CFO Chuck Stevens said on Tuesday with the release of the quarterly report.
In the fourth quarter, GM's adjusted earnings, before interest and taxes, increased 19 per cent to $3.09 billion, and its global margin increased 1.7 per centage points to 8.2 per cent. Revenue declined 5.5 per cent to $37.7 billion due to lower volumes in North America.
For the year, the automaker's adjusted earnings, before interest and taxes, equaled its $12.8 billion record from 2016, while net income plummeted 96 per cent to $300 million largely due to the tax changes and a largely noncash charge of $6.2 billion from the sale of its European operations.
General Motors Canada’s earnings are part of the automaker’s North American total and not reported separately. In terms of Canadian sales, they were up 3.5 per cent in the quarter.
The automaker builds the Chevrolet Impala, Equinox and Silverado, the Cadillac XTS and GMC Sierra at two Ontario assembly plants. It also has an engine and transmission plant and a technical and research centres in the province.