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Renault 1st-quarter revenues fall nearly 3 percent

Renault 1st-quarter revenues fall nearly 3 percent

French carmaker Renault SA said Friday that its first-quarter revenue dropped 2.7 percent from a year earlier due to falling sales in a fiercely competitive European market.
Revenue for the first three months of the year came to euro10.26 billion (US$13.95 billion), down from euro10.54 billion a year earlier. That was well below an estimate of euro10.32 billion (US$14.06 billion) from analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
The revenue from Renault's automobile division, which accounts for almost all of the company's activity, fell 2.8 percent to euro9.78 billion (US$13.3 billion) from a restated euro10.06 billion in the first three months of 2006.
That stemmed from an 8.5 percent slump in sales in France and Europe. Worldwide vehicles sales in the first quarter fell 3.8 percent from the same period a year earlier to 597,847 vehicles.
Renault shares fell 0.5 percent to euro97.40 (US$132.72) in Paris trading.
Despite the drop in revenues, the company said it is on track to reach its target for a 3 percent operating margin in 2007. Renault posted an operating margin of 2.56 percent for 2006 and has set a target of achieving a 6 percent margin by 2009.
"While we believe (Renault CEO Carlos) Ghosn can achieve the target, it is an uphill struggle in our view as product launches in 2007 are either lowmargin (Twingo) or low-volume (Laguna)," auto analyst Stephen B. Cheetham at Sanford C. Bernstein wrote in a research note.
He said the revenues were below estimates as 9.1 percent growth in emerging markets did not offset an 8.5 percent decline in Western Europe.
Renault's results were a contrast to those of French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen, which said revenue rose 6.5 percent to euro14.87 billion (US$20.26 billion) _ well above analyst forecasts.


Updated : 2021-10-28 02:51 GMT+08:00