Strong sales in the U.S. helped General Motors increase its first-quarter net profit 19% over a year ago, leading the company to raise its full-year profit guidance based on expectations demand for its vehicles will remain robust.

The Detroit automaker made $2.37 billion from January through March, up from $1.99 billion in the previous year.

Excluding a $900 million charge to pay severance packages to about 5,000 white-collar workers who took buyouts during the quarter, GM made $2.21 per share, soundly beating analyst estimates of $1.72, according to FactSet.


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