DETROIT — Strong sales in the U.S. and Canada powered Chrysler to a $436 million second-quarter profit.

It's a big turnaround from a year earlier, when Chrysler lost $370 million in the quarter, mainly because it refinanced government bailout loans.

The automaker, now majority owned by Italy's Fiat SpA, also backed an earlier forecast that it would earn about $1.5 billion this year. Such a performance would have been unthinkable three years ago, when Chrysler nearly ran out of cash and needed a government bailout to survive.

Chrysler is benefiting from its reliance on North America and limited exposure to overseas markets. Other car companies are losing money in Europe and seeing sales slowdowns in China and South America. But more than 75 percent of Chrysler's sales come from the U.S., while Canada accounts for about 12 percent. Sales in both countries are up in the past three years.

Chrysler said Monday that its second-quarter revenue rose 23 percent to $16.8 billion.

Its U.S. sales rose 30 percent in the second quarter. Its share of the U.S. market went from 10.1 percent last year to 11.5 percent. In Canada, sales rose 7 percent in the first half of the year to just over 130,000.