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GM posts profit, sees break even in Europe by mid-decade

DETROIT, Oct 31 (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Wednesday posted a far stronger-than-expected profit and said it was targeting a return to break-even levels in its money-losing European operations by mid-decade after a loss of as much as $1.8 billion in that region this year.

GM's net income attributable to common shareholders in the third quarter fell to $1.48 billion, or 89 cents a share, compared with $1.74 billion, or $1.03 a share, in the year earlier quarter.

Excluding one-time items, GM earned 93 cents a share, far above the 60 cents analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected. The profits in the company's North American and International units came in above expectations.

Revenue rose to $37.6 billion from $36.7 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected $35.7 billion.

GM said it expects its operating loss in Europe for the full year to be in the range of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion depending on the level of restructuring in the fourth quarter. It also said it is targeting a full-year 2013 results in Europe to be slightly better than 2012 and to reach break even by mid-decade.