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Ford's first quarter profit up 15 percent to $1.6b

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EARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. reported a better-than-expected $1.6 billion profit in the first quarter as growing demand in the U.S. and China for its new vehicles helped overcome steep losses in Europe and South America.

Ford said Wednesday that first-quarter net income rose 15 percent from a year ago. Worldwide sales rose 10 percent to nearly 1.5 million.

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