Renault says it gets back into profit in first half

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Renault pushed back in to profit in the first half of the year with a net figure of 780 million euros (1.022 billion dollars) from a loss at the same time last year of 2.732 billion euros, it said on Friday.

The French auto group said it expected the global market to grow by about 8.0 percent this year, but said that the overall European market would probably fall by 7.0-8.0 percent.

The company stood by an outlook given at the beginning of the year that it would increase its share on its main markets.

Sales surged by 23.1 percent in the first half from the level during hard times amid the economic downturn at the same time last year to 19.668 billion euros.

The group said that "the performance and results are ahead of the plan set at the beginning of the year."

But the climate was unusually uncertain and the group would be particularly vigilant regarding any change in the economic situation, it said.

For the whole year, it expected to generate positive free cash flow, a measure of the rate at which cash flows in to the company compared with the speed of outgoings.

© 2010 AFP

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