Stellantis NV reported a surge in annual profit and issued an upbeat forecast, a sign the global auto industry has returned to strength after nearly two years of disruptions linked to the pandemic.
The maker of the Jeep and Dodge brands said it expects industry sales to rise by 3% this year in both North America and Europe. Additionally, Stellantis said it was aiming for an adjusted operating income margin—its preferred measure of profitability—in the double digits in 2022, as well as positive free cash flow. The company said its forecast assumes economic and Covid-19 conditions remain substantially unchanged. Stellantis shares rose more than 5% in early trading.
The auto maker, formed by the combination of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA Group, reported 2021 net income of €13.22 billion, equivalent to about $15 billion—a threefold increase driven by North America, where the car maker reported a record margin….