PARIS, July 26 French carmaker Renault said on Friday it had increased first-half profitability at its core manufacturing division despite falling sales, riding out Europe's sustained market slump with new models and a firm hand on costs.
While the bottom line was weakened by lost business in sanctions-hit Iran, incurring a 512 million euro ($678 million) charge, operating profit before one-off expenses rose 15 percent to 583 million. Revenue fell 0.9 percent to 20.44 billion.
Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn reiterated the company's full-year goals including a positive auto division operating margin and cash flow.
"We're on track to achieve the objectives we announced for 2013," Ghosn said in a statement.
Net income dropped to 39 million euros from 734 million euros, weighed down by a total of 832 million in one-time charges, while the auto division's underlying operating margin rose to 2.9 percent from 2.5 percent. ($1 = 0.7555 euros) (Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by James Regan)