MILAN, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Truck and tractor maker CNH Industrial reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and margins for its industrial activities despite a drop in sales, helped by better pricing and cost cuts.
Shares in the group rose more than 8 percent after the results and were up 5.5 percent at 5.86 euros by 1331 GMT.
The company, created from the merger of Fiat Industrial and its U.S. unit CNH, said operating profit for its industrial activities in October-December rose to $563 million from $376 million the previous year, above an analyst consensus forecast of $455 million. Its operating margin rose to 8.2 percent from 4.7 percent while industrial sales fell 14.3 percent to $6.87 billion.
For 2016, the group forecast industrial sales of between $23-24 billion and net debt of between $1.5-1.8 billion, compared with $1.6 billion at end-2015. Its operating margin of industrial activities is seen at between 5.2-5.8 percent.
CNH Industrial said it would pay a dividend over 2015 results of 0.13 euros per share and would buy back shares for up to $300 million.
Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Francesca Landini