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French carmaker PSA breaks record sales

Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Group Carlos Tavares and Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller
Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Group Carlos Tavares and Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller Reuters/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

French carmarker PSA Peugeot Citroen said on Tuesday its acquisition of the Opel and Vauxhall brands last year helped drive sales up more than 42 percent in the first quarter.


The car giant said it had seen a growth in sales volume around the world, "with a record 1.05 million cars sold".

As such the company is likely to surpass its expectations of selling four million cars in 2018, as announced by CEO Carlos Tavares in March.

PSA last year became Europe's second biggest carmaker after Volkswagen when it bought Vauxhall and German brand Opel from US giant General Motors.

Sales up more than 42 percent

It said revenue jumped 42.1 percent to 18.2 billion euros from January to March this year.

Excluding last summer's acquisition of Opel Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and premium brand DS saw revenue surge 13.3 percent to 10.2 billion euros in the first quarter.

Tavares had also promised better sales on the Chinese market, which had been PSA's weak spot and where sales had dipped 37 percent last year.

In the first three months of 2018, the company's fortunes in China began to shift, with a slight increase in sales of 1.8 percent.

Of the company's brands, Citroen was the best performing in China, the world's biggest car market, while DS sales dropped nearly 58 percent in the Asian giant.

In Europe, which is by far the company's biggest market, sales jumped 8.7 percent, thanks mainly to Peugeot.

Taking into account the figures for Opel Vauxhall in Europe, sales jumped 65.7 percent to over 770,000 units.

Opel Vauxhall continues to weigh on profitability, however, even as PSA presses on with a major plan to turn around its results.

"Push to Pass strategic plan and Opel Vauxhall turnaround plan are on track to make this strong performance a solid basis for the future," chief financial officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon said.

(with AFP)

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