PSA Peugeot Citroen sales and revenues rise

Peugeot Exalt is presented at the 2014 Paris Auto Show Image copyright AFP
Image caption PSA Peugeot Citroen unveiled a string of new models and concept cars at the Paris Motor Show in October

PSA Peugeot Citroen's turnaround plan appears to be making progress, with the troubled French carmaker announcing better sales and revenues.

In the three months to end-September revenues rose 1.6% year-on-year, with sales up 5.4% to 644,000 vehicles.

Sales to China rose 44%, suggesting that a bailout of PSA in which Dongfeng Motor took a stake is bearing fruit.

PSA, which has slashed costs and jobs, has targeted China, and Asia generally, as part of its recovery strategy.

Excluding China and south-east Asia, sales fell 4.8% to 461,000 vehicles.

However, PSA has lifted its 2014 European car market growth forecast to 4%-5%, from the previous 3%. Around 60% of PSA sales are in Europe.

The company said that markets in Russia and Latin America would continue to shrink.

PSA's revenues for the quarter were up 1.6% to €12.2bn (£9.6bn).

Challenges ahead

The carmaker cut thousands of jobs and closed a factory as sales plunged during the car industry's global recession.

It had to be rescued by the French state, which along with Dongfeng, took a 14% stake.

In April, new chief executive Carlos Tavares announced a plan to cut the model range by half, raise prices and transform the company's DS brand into a semi-independent premium carmaker.

Despite the early signs of improvement, PSA still faces many challenges, analysts said.

"It will take a very long time for PSA to start delivering tangible earnings," said Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst with International Strategy & Investment.

"With the European market trending sideways and Renault replacing the majority of its fleet, things are unlikely to get easier."

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