U.S. sales drive Fiat Chrysler back into profit

A record-breaking performance in North America saw Fiat Chrysler drive up an operating profit in the third quarter.

The Italian-American car maker posted earnings before interest and tax of $2.7 billion from July to September - way ahead of analyst forecasts.

On Wednesday (October 28), CEO Mike Manley credited the results to a strong performance in North America, where operating profit rose 26% to 3 billion dollars.

That covered losses made in other regions, and at its Maserati unit.

The update comes the same week it was reported the EU was close to approving a $38 billion merger between Fiat Chrysler and PSA group, parent of Peugeot and other brands.

PSA said Wednesday it also saw some upturn in the third quarter.

The French firm's overall sales came to $18.3 billion in July-September, slightly down on the year before.

But automotive revenue rose 1.2% to $14 billion, after ending the first half of the year down over 35%.

The results mean that both Fiat Chrysler and PSA bounced back from an industry-wide rout caused in the first half of the year.

However, PSA shares were down 3% in morning trade, as French stocks were broadly hit by the prospect of new national restrictions.