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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Peugeot maker PSA's profits soar despite Opel dent

Operating income jumped by almost a quarter to €3.99bn even after a €179m Opel loss since the August 1 consolidation of former GM business

Cars parked at the PSA Peugeot-Citroen factory in Rennes. AFP
Cars parked at the PSA Peugeot-Citroen factory in Rennes. AFP

PSA Group shrugged off losses at the newly acquired Opel division to lift sales, profit and operating margin to new records last year, the French carmaker said on Thursday.

The maker of Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall cars said net income rose 11.5 per cent to €1.93 billion (Dh8.65bn) on €65.21bn in revenue, up 20.7 per cent.

Operating income jumped by almost a quarter to €3.99bn, even after a €179m Opel loss since the August 1 consolidation of the former General Motors business. The group-wide automotive operating margin fell to 5.9 per cent from 6 per cent.

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Reiterating mid-term goals that include a 6 per cent margin excluding Opel for 2021 – compared with 7.3 per cent last year – chief financial officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon said the targets will be reviewed early next year and could be raised.

"We are certainly doing quite well right now," Mr Chatillon said as he presented the earnings numbers to reporters. "Let's see in 2019."

PSA's full-year results beat analyst expectations of €1.9bn in net income, €3.53bn in operating profit and €64.68bn in revenue, based on the median estimates in an Inquiry Financial poll for Reuters.

The French carmaker raised its proposed dividend to €0.53 per share from the €0.48 payout on 2016 earnings.