​North America, China help GM score record annual profit

DETROIT - Strong earnings in North America and China and a reversal of fortunes in Europe powered General Motors (GM) to a record net profit of $9.7 billion last year.

The profit more than doubled GM's 2014 earnings and was aided by a $3.9 billion fourth-quarter accounting gain because the company expects to be profitable in Europe this year.

Excluding special items, GM made $5.02 per share for the year, beating Wall Street estimates of $4.82. Profits were fueled by strong SUV and truck sales largely in North America.

Full-year revenue fell just over 2 percent to $152.4 billion, but still beat analyst estimates of $144.9 billion.

Earnings were so strong that most of GM's 49,600 hourly workers will get $11,000 profit-sharing checks on Feb. 26.