Renault nearly doubles profits as Europe shows recovery

(MENAFN- AFP) French auto group Renault announced Thursday its first half profits had doubled to 1.4 billion euros ($1.54 billion) compared to the same period in 2014 as the European market showed a stronger than expected recovery.

In addition to nearly doubling its first half profits of 749 million euros last year, Renault said its primary income on car sales had progressed 12.4 percent to 21 billion euros.

Total sales improved by 12 percent, reaching 22.1 billion euros.

"Thanks to a stronger than forecasted recovery in a European market, and despite a more adverse environment in our main emerging markets, Groupe Renault half-year results marked a further step towards 'Drive the change' plan targets," said Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn.

"The successful line-up renewal and expansion, European momentum and disciplined execution put the Group in a favourable position to reach its revenue growth and operating margin targets," he added.

Revenue from higher sales was further bolstered by favourable exchange rates, the company said, while price increases in markets like Brazil and Russia helped off-set falling national currency values.

Renault said attentiveness to costs and increased efficiencies provided roughly half of the profit rise, with improved sales responsible for the other half.

For the longer term, however, Renault financial director Dominique Thormann noted that internal discipline could improve results only to a certain point, and "progressively, (sales) growth must take over to keep turning the corner."

Despite its improved first semester figures, Renault's share price dropped sharply in early trading in Paris, with the stock down seven percent to 83.59 euros around 0800 GMT while the CAC index inched up 0.04 percent.


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