Renault reports sharp profits slide

8th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 8, 2007 (AFP) - French automaker Renault reported a nearly 15-percent slide in net 2006 earnings Thursday but said it was banking on emerging markets and new models in Europe to boost sales this year.

PARIS, Feb 8, 2007 (AFP) - French automaker Renault reported a nearly 15-percent slide in net 2006 earnings Thursday but said it was banking on emerging markets and new models in Europe to boost sales this year.

The results were nonetheless better than expected and Renault shares were showing a 1.31 percent gain at 93.10 euros in early trading on a Paris market that was 0.11 percent stronger.

Renault said net profit last year fell 14.8 percent from 2005 to 2.869 billion euros (3.7 billion dollars). Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had foreseen net earnings of 2.733 billion euros.

At the operating level the company reported a 42-percent decline to earnings of 877 million euros from sales of 41.528 billion euros, down 4.0 percent from 2005.

Sales outside of Europe, however, which account for 30 percent of the total at Renault, rose 2.3 percent last year.

"An increase in production capacity in India, Romania and Russia and the introduction of models designed to meet demand in those developing markets will be the main drivers of Renault's growth by 2009," the company said in a statement.

It added that the low-cost Logan model, which is expected to be on the market in Brazil, Iran and India in the second quarter of 2007, should help spur sales.

In Europe, the group is looking to capitalize on the sales performance of its Twingo and Laguna models to improve its results.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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