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Peugeot maker PSA's car revenue returns to growth after lockdowns
[PARIS] Peugeot maker PSA Group on Wednesday posted a 0.8 per cent decline in its third-quarter sales though revenue from its core auto division returned to growth after slumping during coronavirus lockdowns.
The car industry has benefitted after dealerships reopened in recent months, though some countries such as France are mulling fresh restrictions including a possible lockdown to fight a resurgence in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under chief executive Carlos Tavares, PSA, which is working through a merger agreement with Fiat Chrysler (FCA), has also focused increasingly on its more expensive models, helping it ride out falls in sales volumes.
PSA reported overall sales stood at 15.5 billion euros (S$24.9 billion) for the July-September quarter, down 0.8 per cent from a year earlier. Automotive revenue rose 1.2 per cent to 12 billion euros, after ending the first half of the year down 35.5 per cent.
Car sales in volumes fell, but this was offset by price effects. The company had said over the summer that new versions of its Peugeot 208 model and Opel's Corsa were boosting its order books.
PSA maintained its target to reach an adjusted operating margin for its automotive division of more than 4.5 per cent for the 2019 to 2021 period.
The group's US$38 billion merger with FCA, set to create the world's fourth largest carmaker under the name "Stellantis", is due to close in the first quarter of 2021.
They are set to win antitrust approval for the merger from the European Commission, sources told Reuters this week.
The companies said on Wednesday they had pressed on with one more step in the process, after their boards agreed PSA could sell up to a 7 per cent stake in car parts maker Faurecia.
The proceeds will be distributed to Stellantis shareholders in cash, alongside a distribution-in-kind of the remaining Faurecia stake - a structure aimed at preventing Stellantis from gaining control of Faurecia.