updated 10/28/2004 10:39:20 AM ET 2004-10-28T14:39:20

Automaking giant DaimlerChrysler AG said Thursday it earned 951 million euros ($1.18 billion) in the third quarter on good performances from its financial services division and its U.S. Chrysler arm, rebounding from a 1.7 billion euro loss a year ago when it had a large one-time write-off.

Chrysler's operating profit, boosted by well-received new models such as the 300C car, rose to 217 million euros ($269 million) from 147 million euros a year ago, another confirmation of the progress of a three-year turnaround at the once-troubled division.

Overall revenue rose 2.3 percent to 34.9 billion euros ($43.3 billion).

Financial services, as it has been for competitors Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., provides a strong boost to earnings, contributing 412 million euros ($512 million).

And the company's result got a boost from another former turnaround case, its commercial vehicles division, which stayed in the black although profits dipped to 159 million euros ($197 million) from 195 million euros a year ago.

But the dark spot in the earnings performance was shrinking earnings at its luxury mainstay, Mercedes, to 304 million euros ($377 million) from 793 million euros a year ago. The division, whose dependable profits sustained the company while Chrysler was bleeding money several years ago, suffered from weaker sales in Western Europe, and from added costs to improve quality and roll out new models.

The company's result in the third quarter of last year was affected by a 2.0 billion euro writeoff for the fallen value of its share in aerospace consortium EADS. This quarter's result was boosted by several one-time gains, including 120 million euros ($149 million) from an adjustment of the sale price of Adtranz to Bombardier, and 60 million euros ($75 million) from ending a joint truck engine venture with Hyundai.

One-time losses included charges of 405 million euros ($503 million) to cover past quality problems and recalls at truckmaker Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. and 119 million euros ($148 million) from a troubled consortium that is supposed to collect truck tolls for the German government.

The company also no longer has to show losses from Mitsubishi, its troubled Japanese partner. DaimlerChrysler's stake in Mitsubishi shrank after DaimlerChrysler declined to put more money into the company and Mitsubishi carried out a capital increase.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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