Peugeot reports sales gain boosted by Iranian market
French automaker’s 2.3-percent gain in first-quarter sales is boosted by a surge in sales of auto parts to Iran.24 April 2008
PARIS - French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen reported on Thursday a 2.3-percent gain in first-quarter sales compared with the same period in 2007, boosted by a surge in sales of auto parts to Iran.
Sales in the January-March period came to EUR 15.212 billion, the group said, adding that a 6.1 percent jump in overseas sales was driven by its auto parts unit.
Peugeot foresees sales growth of 5.0 percent this year and is sticking to its forecast of a 3.5 percent operating margin.
Despite the performance, Peugeot shares fell in morning trading on the Paris exchange, with dealers looking for more detail on the company's 2008 margin
Peugeot shares were down 4.11 percent at EUR 44.33 on a generally weaker Paris market.
The manufacturer is this year counting on good results from the release of seven new models in the second quarter.
Vehicle sales in the first quarter came to 809,700, up 2.3 percent, while sales of parts rose 92.9 percent to 66,700 units, "linked almost exclusively to sales in Iran," Peugeot said.
In western Europe, vehicle sales slipped 0.9 percent to 591,100 units. At the end of March Peugeot had a western European market share of 14 percent, compared with 14.2 percent at the end of first quarter 2007.
First-quarter sales rose 5.4 percent in eastern Europe, 29.6 percent in Russia, 36.4 percent in Latin America and 3.8 percent in China.
Finance Director Isabel Marey-Samper said friction between Paris and Beijing following unrest in Tibet and ahead of the summer Olympics had had "little impact" on Peugeot's activities in China.
[AFP / Expatica]