Renault posts record profit as it swerves Brexit foreign exchange hit

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Renault recorded record profits and sales for the year, in spite of a foreign exchange hit from the falling Pound in the wake of the Brexit vote, and continued losses in its Russian AvtoVaz unit.

Revenues rose 13 per cent from €45bn to €51bn, while net income climbed from €2.96bn to €3.54bn.

The group operating margin climbed as well, with profits representing 6.4 per cent of sales, compared to 5.2 per cent in 2015.

The group sold 3.18m vehicles during the year, a record for the company that sees it push ahead of French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Renault booked €323m of foreign exchange losses from the Argentine Peso and the British Pound following the Brexit referendum in June. The figure also includes lower financial income from its Argentine division.

The company took full control of its Russian AvtoVaz unit in December, which manufactures the LADA brand as well as making Renault cars in Russia.

The unit contributed €89m of losses to Renault in the year, which is down from the €620m recorded in 2015.

The group wants to make the business profitable by 2018.

Renault is set to launch a new strategic plan this year, which will run to 2022, with an ambition to reach €70 billion in revenues and 7 per cent operating margin at the end of the plan.

Chief executive Carlos Ghosn said:

After very strong results in the first half of the year, Groupe Renault confirmed its performance by establishing a new record for the year. We outperformed the targets of the ‘Drive the Change’ plan, launched in 2011, both in terms of growth and profits one year in advance. This success rewards the hard work of all Group employees.

The company is twinned with Nissan in a global alliance that sees the pair share some manufacturing and back office functions. However the companies still report separate financial results.

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