French automaker PSA sold 3.88 million vehicles last year, up 6.8 percent from 2017 (Daniel ROLAND)

Paris (AFP) – French auto giant PSA, which produces the Citroen and Peugeot brands, said Tuesday it had boosted its profit outlook after recording a “historic year” in 2018.

The company said its net profit rose 47 percent to a record 2.83 billion euros ($3.21 billion) in 2018, while recurring operating income soared 43 percent to 5.69 billion euros, also a new high.

Ranked the second largest carmaker in Europe after Germany’s Volkswagen, Paris-based Groupe PSA said in a statement that its “historic year” also saw new records for revenue, which was up 18.9 percent to 74 billion euros, as well as volume of sales.

PSA sold 3.88 million vehicles last year, up 6.8 percent from 2017 when it acquired General Motors’ Opel business which includes British-based Vauxhall.

PSA chairman Carlos Tavares hailed the “outstanding results”.

“This demonstrates the ability of our Group to deliver a profitable and recurring growth,” he said in a statement.

The group announced a target operating margin of more than six percent by 2021 for its automotive activities, and a total of 4.5 percent in 2019-2021.

The six-percent goal had previously only been a target for the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands but now includes Opel and Vauxhall.

After PSA acquired the two brands, they returned to profitability in less than 18 months following 20 years of losses.

PSA said that without the Opel contribution, 2018 sales would have been down 12 percent due to the impact of fresh sanctions imposed on Iran by US President Donald Trump as well as a slump in China.

Financial director Philippe de Rovira said in a conference call that the group’s forecasts were valid even in the most pessimistic scenarios — including the possibility of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Disclaimer: This story is published from a syndicated feed. Siliconeer does not assume any liability for the above story. Validity of the above story is for 7 Days from original date of publishing. Content copyright AFP.