New GM chief Barra vows to keep 'fortress balance sheet'

Ben Klayman
Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 | 10:38 AM ET

DETROIT, Jan 23 (Reuters) - General Motors Co's new Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra vowed on Thursday to maintain a "fortress balance sheet," which has been a mantra among executives at the biggest U.S. automaker since 2010, the year after it emerged from bankruptcy.

In her first meeting with reporters since she took the top spot at GM last week, Barra said the company has been keenly focused on operating profitably everywhere it operates and maintaining a very strong balance sheet.

GM said last week that modest growth in the U.S. and Chinese auto markets would help fund about $1.1 billion in restructuring costs in harder-hit regions, including Europe. It also said it expects a slight uptick in its operating profit this year, an outlook analysts called conservative.

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