By Laurence Frost
PARIS (Reuters) – Peugeot maker PSA Group reported a 1.1 percent decline in revenue, as falling overseas sales outweighed pricing improvements in the first quarter.
Revenue fell to 17.98 billion euros (£15.5 billion) in January-March from 18.2 billion a year earlier, the French carmaker said on Thursday.
Chief Financial Officer Philippe de Rovira said PSA “remains fully focussed” on its medium-term performance plan while pursuing the integration of the Opel-Vauxhall business acquired from General Motors in 2017.
Revenue at the core automotive division fell 1.8 percent to 14.16 billion euros, as vehicle sales by Opel to its former parent tailed off.
Exchange-rate setbacks also weighed on revenue to overcome the positive 3.6 percent improvement from higher pricing, and a new mix to reflect a sales shift to plusher models.
PSA’s global deliveries have also been hit by a sustained sales collapse at its Chinese joint ventures and the group’s withdrawal last year from Iran.
Sales volumes fell 15.7 percent to 886,400 vehicles in the quarter. Even excluding Iran, deliveries fell 6.1 percent, weighed down by a 30 percent decline in Latin America.
The group revenue figure was broadly in line with analyst estimates in an Infront Data poll, and PSA reiterated its medium-term guidance for an average 4.5 percent automotive operating margin over the 2019-2021 period.
The company said it now expects the Latin American auto market to shrink 2 percent in 2019. PSA saw the European market as being stable, while it saw China falling by 3 percent and Russia growing 5 percent.
PSA plans to discontinue Opel’s Adam, Karl and Cascada models to help meet tightening carbon dioxide emissions regulations, added De Rovira.
(Reporting by Laurence Frost and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)