Renault sets "realistic" 2017 goals after profit drop

PARIS Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:34am EST

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PARIS Feb 13 (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault pledged on Thursday to lift its operating margin to 5 percent in 2017, extending its turnaround plan by one year after missing a mid-term sales goal and taking heavy asset writedowns in 2013.

Renault said its margin improved to 3 percent last year from 1.9 percent in 2012. But net income fell two-thirds to 586 million euros ($796 million), hit by more than 500 million in writedowns and restructuring costs in the second half.

Unveiling the margin goal and a pledge to increase revenue by a quarter to 50 billion euros, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn described the new 2017 targets as "ambitious yet realistic". ($1 = 0.7359 euros) (Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by James Regan)