US auto giant Ford said Thursday that pre-tax profits in the third quarter were likely to be stronger then the level achieved in the second quarter despite announcing thousands of job cuts. Speaking in a telephone conference call on Ford\'s planned shake-up of its loss-making European operations, the carmaker\'s finance chief Bob Shanks said that for the group as a whole \"third quarter 2012 pre-tax profit and earnings per share are better than second quarter 2012, despite the substantial loss in Europe.\" In the second quarter, Ford booked pre-tax profit of $1.8 billion. The group is scheduled to announce its full third-quarter financial results on Tuesday next week. Earlier, Ford unveiled plans to shut down two facilities in Britain -- an assembly plant in Southampton and stamping and tooling operations at Dagenham -- plus a factory in Genk, Belgium, with the loss of 5,700 jobs in all. The move is part of a massive shake-up of Ford\'s European operations aimed at steering them back to profit amid falling demand in the region. The group\'s European operations are expected to run up a loss in excess of $1.5 billion this year, Ford said. The reorganisation is expected to reduce vehicle assembly capacity by 18 percent or 355,000 units and yield gross annual savings of $450-500 million.