French automaker PSA Group stated its first-quarter profits increased 4.9 percent, as the first results of a new product offensive assisted to conquer negative currency impacts.
Earnings advanced to 13.63 billion euros ($14.92 billion) from 13 billion a year previously, the maker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars and trucks stated on Wednesday. At its core automotive department, profits increased a more modest 2.5 percent to 9.02 billion euros.
PSA, which agreed in March to buy Opel from General Motors, stated 2 existing joint vehicle programs would lift its second-half earnings.
The automaker has rebounded from near-bankruptcy and government-backed bailout in 2014 to a 6 percent vehicle operating margin in 2016 on the strength of cost-cutting, a pared-down lineup and determined efforts to lift costs.
“We can see the start of the success of our product launches with its first effects on the top line,” Chief Financial Officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon stated on a teleconference with experts.
However, Chatillon cautioned that it will take more time to fix PSA’s issues in China, where deliveries plunged 16 percent in 2016 and another 46 percent in the first quarter – compared with a 4.2 percent boost in international sales volume.
The group stated previously this month it will require much deeper cuts and more SUVs to turn the sales depression around. Sales through PSA’s Chinese joint ventures are not combined in group revenues.