(Repeats after correcting related news alert to read "confirms 2007 group trading profit target 2.5-2.7 bln euros" instead of 2.5-2.6 bln euros. Text of main story is unchanged)
MILAN, Jan 25 (Reuters) -'s key automotive division beat -- as expected -- its 2006 profit target, the first time it has made money since 2000, thanks to robust sales of its Grande Punto hatchback and other models.
The Italian industrial group said in a statement on Thursday the division's trading profit totalled 291 million euros ($378.4 million) against a loss of 281 million euros in 2005. Trading profit is operating profit excluding extraordinary items.
The division, which includes the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands, had been expected by analysts to reach 280 million euros according to a poll conducted by Fiat.