Renault shares slide on poor W Europe sales

25th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 25 (AFP) - Shares in French automaker Renault skidded lower Monday, as analysts signalled the company's disappointing sales in western Europe for the first quarter instead of strong international sales.

PARIS, April 25 (AFP) - Shares in French automaker Renault skidded lower Monday, as analysts signalled the company's disappointing sales in western Europe for the first quarter instead of strong international sales.  

Renault shares were down 1.73 percent at EUR 65.20 in morning Paris trading, while the CAC 40 index was off 0.10 percent at 3,976.38 points.  

After the market close on Friday, the group reported first-quarter sales at EUR 9.840 billion (USD 12.82 billion), down 0.8 percent from EUR 9.923 billion a year earlier under the international accounting IFRS regulations that all French companies must use from January 1.  

The company said this sales performance was achieved "against a backdrop of declining European markets."  

Outside Europe, sales climbed 20.3 percent. Apart from Turkey, Renault said, sales were up sharply in all other regions, notably Russia, where sales climbed 53 percent, and Africa and the Middle East, where sales were 23 percent higher.  

It said Dacia sales almost doubled thanks to the ramp-up in sales of the economy car Logan, while Renault Samsung Motors gained 34.3 percent, driven by the SM7 and SM5 models.  

Group registrations in the first quarter were up 2.4 percent compared with a year earlier, driven by buoyant sales outside Europe.  

The results were largely in line with expectations.  

Merrill Lynch had been looking for a sales fall of 0.6 percent and Wargny had been looking for sales of EUR 10.182 billion.  

But Wargny said it believed Renault can make up lost ground through the year.  

Renault confirmed its guidance for full-year earnings during a conference call Friday after publication of the first-quarter sales.  

A Renault representative said the French carmaker was "in line with what we said we would do on a full-year basis and we maintain our guidance".  

In February the group said it expected to post a full-year operating margin "higher than four percent" in 2005, under IFRS accounting standards, pressured by a "sluggish market" and rising raw materials prices.  

The margin would have been 5.15 percent under IFRS in 2004.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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