Peugeot Citroen switches into profit on strong demand

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French auto group PSA Peugeot Citroen reported a switch into net profit in the first half of the year, announcing a figure of 680 million euros (884 million dollars) on Wednesday from a loss of 962 million euros for the same period last year.

It said it expected a current operating profit of about 1.5 billion euros for the whole year.

Sales shot up by 20.8 percent, or by 15.5 percent on a comparable asset base, to 28.394 billion euros.

The group announced the rise despite the phasing out of government subsidies for new cars in exchange for old, introduced at the height of the economic crisis to support the industry, a measure used by some other governments in Europe.

The group attributed the strong performance to the success of new models and firm global demand, and said that it had gained market share.

© 2010 AFP

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