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GM's profit falls 53 percent; Chrysler's earnings grow 22 percent

General Motors Co. said its profit fell in the third quarter, but the automaker's results also demonstrated that its troubled European operations are improving.

GM's profit fell 53 percent to $698 million in the quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier. The decline came from weaker earnings in some overseas markets and special charges generated by the repurchase of preferred stock from a health care trust for UAW union retirees. Revenue grew 4 percent to $39 billion.

"We made gains in the third quarter as we improved our North American margins and increased our global share on the strength of our Chevrolet brand," said Dan Akerson, GM's chief executive.

Losses in Europe narrowed to $214 million from a deficit of $487 million. The automaker said it hopes to break even in the region by mid-decade.

GM saw profits from its international operation, which includes the key Chinese market, fall 61 percent to $299 million.

Meanwhile, Chrysler Group said its third-quarter earnings grew 22 percent to $464 million. The third quarter was the automaker's ninth consecutive quarter of positive net income. Revenue grew 13.5 percent to $17.6 billion, helped by sales of the company's Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram pickup trucks.

While the results were good, Kelley Blue Book analysts said that Chrysler still needs to broaden its product range so that it is not so reliant on trucks.

They also noted that the company needs to replace aging models such as the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger.