AUTO INDUSTRY Delphi reports it lost $131 million in quarter

TROY, Mich. -- Delphi Automotive Systems said today that it lost $131 million in the fourth quarter because of accounting charges related to the sale of a generator business and the loss of value in South American business ventures.
Without these charges, the company earned $55 million, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter on sales of $6.4 billion. In the same quarter a year earlier, Delphi earned $200 million on sales of $6.9 billion.
Sticking to strategy: Faced with declining orders, Delphi continues its strategy announced last year to reduce its production capacity and lower operating costs, said J.T. Battenberg III, chairman, chief executive and president.
For the year, Delphi earned $220 million on sales of $1.1 billion. In 2000, it earned $1.1 billion on sales of $29.1 billion.
Delphi said sales were down because of lower orders but also from the sale of businesses and unfavorable currency exchange rates.
Sales to customers besides General Motors Corp. were 32 percent of total sales, or $8.5 billion.
Reductions: Alan Dawes, chief financial officer, said that Delphi reduced its break-even point in all areas of the company last year. As annual sales fell 10.5 percent, Delphi reduced sales and general and administrative expenses by 14.3 percent from 2000.
Delphi, a former division of GM, is the parent company of locally based Delphi Packard Electric Systems.

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