by Gilles Guillaume
PARIS (Reuters) – Renault announced on Thursday that it was aiming for the top of its operating margin forecast range thanks to a still solid price effect thanks to its new products, overshadowed however by a worsening of the currency effect on its sales figure. business.
In the first exchanges, the diamond group’s action lost nearly 7%, the biggest drop in the CAC 40 index.
The French car manufacturer, which is targeting the top of its operating margin forecast range of 7% to 8% this year, reported a 7.6% increase in its turnover, still fueled by sales more profitable models like Austral or Jogger, but hampered by the impact of the devaluation of the Argentine peso and the Turkish lira, without which growth would have been 13.8%.
During a conference with analysts, financial director Thierry Piéton specified that the Austral SUV made the greatest contribution to the unit profitability of a private vehicle in the history of the Renault brand.
The group achieved a turnover of 10.507 billion euros over the last three months while analysts expected 10.458 billion, according to the median consensus provided by Renault.
In the core automotive business alone, turnover stood at 9.39 billion, against a consensus of 9.49 billion.
“We remain Buy but the fact of having slightly missed this consensus could weigh on the title at the opening, given the solid performance of the stock over the last two weeks,” comments Stifel in a note.
Foreign exchange had a negative effect of 6.3 points while the price effect remained solid at +7.5 points. Thanks to the momentum of the first half, nine-month turnover rose sharply by 21.1%.
The group’s global sales volume increased by 6.1% to 511,000 vehicles. This slowdown compared to the first half is attributable to a strong destocking in the independent network, where an improvement in logistical difficulties made it possible to deliver more cars, already previously recorded in Renault’s sales volumes.
THE NEW R5 EXPECTED NEXT SEPTEMBER
The manufacturer, in full reorganization with the creation of an entity dedicated to electricity, Ampère, whose IPO should take place in the first half of 2024, is counting on its current cycle of new products – another 12 next year then 7 in 2025 – to maintain a solid price effect.
On the other hand, the renewal of the electric offer should not improve Renault’s penetration of this strategic market in Europe before next spring, underlined Thierry Piéton.
Despite 35,000 sales of Mégane E-Tech, the diamond brand is suffering from the aging of Zoé and its EV sales fell by around 5% over nine months to 64,854 units.
The succession of the Scenic and the new Renault 5 and Renault 4 is therefore impatiently awaited. The first should contribute to once again increasing Renault’s penetration of the electric market from the second quarter of next year, added Thierry Piéton, while the R5 is expected around September 2024 and its Alpine version at the end of next year.
With 44,262 sales, the small Dacia Spring grew by 40.6% in the third quarter and came third among the most sold electric cars to individuals in Europe – behind the Tesla Model Y and 3. The car, however, risks losing its ecological bonus in France at the end of the year because it is imported from China.
This prospect, considered probable by Renault, supports Spring sales in the short term, but will have to be compensated in the longer term by “hard work” on the costs of the car, added Thierry Piéton.
(Report by Gilles Guillaume, with Stéphanie Hamel and Victor Goury-Laffont, edited by Blandine Hénault and Jean-Stéphane Brosse)
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