Chrysler posts best quarterly profit in 13 years

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler followed its strong first-quarter sales with a big profit as its 2009 brush with financial death faded in the rearview mirror.

The company made a net profit of $473 million, its best quarter in 13 years.

The earnings came because Chrysler increased its U.S. sales 39 percent from January through March. It also saved $71 million in interest costs for the quarter because it refinanced high-interest government loans last May.

The profit was more than four times the $116 million that Chrysler made in the first quarter of last year. Strong sales of the Ram pickup, Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan helped the company make the money.

Revenue rose 25 percent to $16.4 billion.