by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) July 27, 2016
French automaker Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) Wednesday reported a doubling of net profits in the first half of the year and said it expected the car market in China to grow eight percent in 2016.
Profits came in at 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion) despite a drop in overall sales which the firm put down to "unfavourable" exchange rate movements.
Peugeot shares rose sharply in early Paris trading, surging by nearly eight percent in reaction to the results.
The firm cheered a 6.8-percent operating margin for its automotive division -- well above the four-percent target enshrined in its five-year strategic plan.
The plan also aims at sales growth of 10 percent at constant exchange rates between 2015 and 2018 and then 15-percent growth.
The "Push to pass" plan has given PSA "greater agility than ever before for continuing its profitable growth," the firm said in a statement.
Chief Financial Officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon said the company was "not yet benefiting from the accelerated renewal of our range."
For 2016, the firm expects the automotive market to grow by about four percent in Europe and eight percent in China.
The market is forecast to contract by around 12 percent in Latin America and 15 percent in Russia.
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