(News Bulletin 247) – The diamond group saw its net result be weighed down by Russia in the 2022 financial year. It has decided to pay a dividend for the first time since 2019.

Despite its upset exit from Russia, the Renault group has raised the bar in 2022. The diamond manufacturer published sharply higher annual results on Thursday.

The group headed by Luca de Meo saw its turnover increase by

11.4% to 46.4 billion euros for the whole of 2022. Excluding currency effects, revenues increased by 12.4%.

Renault was notably driven by the effect of price increases, up 9.7 percentage points, while volumes had an impact of 3.4 points. Last year’s vehicle launches, such as the Megane E-TECH Electric or the Dacia Jogger, generated a positive mix effect (i.e. a greater contribution from more expensive vehicles) of 2.8 points.

The operating margin more than doubled in value, to 2.6 billion euros, reflecting a rate of 5.6% against 2.8% in 2021. The automotive operating margin alone was 3, 3%.

Net income, group share, however, remained in the red at -338 million euros, weighed down by the accounting impairment of 2.3 billion euros recorded in the first half and due to Renault’s exit from the Russian market, which was its second most important behind France.

Net income from continuing operations alone amounted to 1.62 billion euros, multiplied by three.

Record cash generation

Automotive operating free cash flow stood at 2.12 billion euros in 2022, Renault referring to “a record”.

As it announced during its November investor day, the automaker will pay a dividend for the first time since 2019 (for the 2018 financial year), up to 25 cents per share.

According to a consensus provided by the company, analysts on average expected sales of 45.3 billion euros, an operating margin of 5.5% and 3.2% for the automotive sector, a net loss of 310 million euros and on an automotive free cash flow of 1.68 billion euros.

“The year 2022 has more than kept its promises: with results above initial objectives and market expectations, we are completing the ‘Resurrection’ phase three years ahead of schedule,” said Luca de Meo, quoted in a statement.

Margin still up this year

For 2023, the automotive group anticipates an operating margin of around 6% and an automotive operating free cash flow of at least 2 billion euros.

During its investor day in November, Renault announced its medium-term objectives, counting on an operating margin of more than 8% in 2025 and more than 10% in 2030 and cash flow of more than 2 billion euros per year. average over the period 2022-2025 and more than 3 billion euros per year on average over 2026-2030.

The group is also preparing to split into several divisions, including its electric subsidiary dedicated to the production and marketing of Ampere electric vehicles, which it plans to introduce in the second half of 2023.

It also overhauled its relationship with its historical ally Nissan at the beginning of the month, agreeing to an overhaul of the alliance which will result in a rebalancing of cross-shareholdings, with each manufacturer holding 15% of the other. This agreement also provides for Nissan to take up to 15% of Ampere’s capital. The two allies, with the third Mitsubishi, have also decided to launch several projects to improve the effectiveness of their cooperation, particularly in Europe, Latin America and India.