Ford today reported a pre-tax operating loss of $424 million in the second quarter of 2009 (excluding special items), a $609 million improvement compared with the second quarter of last year. The gains made during the quarter were the result of cost reductions, net pricing, positive Ford Credit results and improved market share, all of which helped offset the continued impact of the global financial crisis.

Including a $2.8 billion gain related to debt-reduction actions sees Ford earning a net income of $2.3 billion, or $0.69 per share. These results compare with a net loss of $8.7 billion, or $3.89 per share, in the second quarter of 2008. What’s more impressive is that the result is based on second quarter revenues of $27.2 billion, which were down more than $11 billion from the same period a year ago.

At the rate that it's going, the company expects to break-even by 2011 and reach profitability in the following year. Incidentally, Ford hasn’t had an annual profit since 2005, and last year's $14.7 billion net loss is currently the company’s worst year on record.

Ford Credit, meanwhile, reported a pre-tax profit of $646 million for the quarter, compared with a pre-tax loss of $294 million a year ago.