You are here

Russia's top automaker fears bankruptcy as losses mount

[MOSCOW] Russia's top automaker Avtovaz, controlled by Renault-Nissan, on Friday asked shareholders to help save it from bankruptcy as losses in 2015 tripled from the year before.

Hit hard by Russia's economic crisis the company, maker of Lada cars, said it would further "optimise the workforce" as part of its "anti-crisis plan" to improve finances in 2016, having already switched all of its employees and management to a four-day week in February last year.

Net losses in 2015 amounted to 73.8 billion rubles (S$1.3 billion), nearly triple the 2014 figure of 25 billion rubles. Operating losses grew to 66.8 billion rubles from 14.7 billion rubles the previous year.

Without help, market conditions "create a material uncertainty that gives rise to significant doubt about the group's ability to continue as a going concern", Avtovaz said in a statement.

Sales fell by eight per cent to 176.5 billion rubles (S$3.1 billion), while the car market on average shrank by 36 per cent.

Renault said earlier from Paris that the Avtovaz losses weighed on its group results with 620 million euros (S$976 million).

Based on the Volga river in the city of Togliatti, Avtovaz is majority owned since 2013 by Renault-Nissan and employs 44,000 people, not counting jobs it generates in the region for its suppliers.

The company promised to target "revenue improvements, cost reduction measures and sales of non-core assets" in its anti-crisis plan but warned that it needs help from shareholders to refinance its debt and secure new loans.