Chrysler loses $690 million in first quarter

Automaker reports loss on merger items, maintains 2014 forecast

DETROIT (Reuters) — U.S.-based automaker Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Italian carmaker Fiat SpA, on Monday reported a first-quarter net loss of $690 million because of charges related to the merger of the two companies.

Chrysler took a $504 million non-cash charge on payments to retire a note linked to a health care trust that until January was the company's minority owner, and a $672 million charge for payments to the trust, which is linked to the United Auto Workers union in the United States.

Excluding those items, earnings were $486 million, compared with $166 million a year earlier.

Chrysler maintained 2014 forecast that calls for net revenue of about $80 billion and earnings of between $2.3 billion and $2.5 billion, excluding special items.

Fiat issued its first-quarter results last Tuesday.

In January, Fiat bought the remaining shares owned by a UAW-related healthcare trust and became the sole owner of Chrysler. The newly merged company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the fourth quarter.

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