Renault steers back to profit

PARIS (AFP) – French carmaker Renault said yesterday that it steered back to profit in the six months of the current year as its restructuring programme bore fruit more quickly than expected.

Renault said in a statement that it booked a net profit of EUR368 million (USD437 million) in the period from January to June, compared with a bottom-line loss of EUR7.3 billion a year earlier.

Underlying or operating earnings showed a first-half profit of EUR571 million compared with a loss EUR2 billion the year before, bringing the operating margin to 2.8 per cent.

Revenues in the January-June period grew by 27 per cent to EUR23.4 billion.

“These results are the fruits of our strategic ‘Renaulution’ plan, focused on profitability,” said chief executive Luca De Meo.

“They mark only the first step in our turnaround, which should accelerate with the arrival of the new vehicles in preparation.”

Looking ahead to the full year, Renault said that “despite the uncertainties in demand, the continuing negative effects of the components crisis which could lead to a production loss of about 200,000 units over the year and rising raw materials prices, we are aiming to reach a full-year operating margin rate of the same order as the one of the first-half.”

Vehicles exit Renault’s dealer shop in Paris. PHOTO: XINHUA