Exclusive: Peugeot CEO eyes positive cashflow by 2016 at latest

PARIS Mon Mar 3, 2014 5:39am EST

Carlos Tavares, incoming Chief Executive Officer of French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, attends the company's 2013 results presentation and the news conference to unveil long-awaited Dongfeng deal in Paris February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Carlos Tavares, incoming Chief Executive Officer of French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, attends the company's 2013 results presentation and the news conference to unveil long-awaited Dongfeng deal in Paris February 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

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PARIS (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen expects to achieve positive free cash flow "no later than 2016," the troubled French carmaker's new Chief Executive, Carlos Tavares, said on Monday.

"I am very confident we can pursue the turnaround of the company," Tavares said. "We will come back to a positive cash flow no later than 2016. It may be 2015," he said, adding that it will be at that point of positive free cash flow that the company "will make an assessment" of where it will go in future.

Peugeot (PEUP.PA) is preparing to sell 14 percent stakes to Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor Group (0489.HK) and the French state in a 3 billion euro ($4.1 billion) share issue.

Tavares, a former head of operations at Peugeot's rival Renault (RENA.PA), was speaking to a press panel organized by French trade publication 7pm Auto in collaboration with Reuters, his first full interview since taking operational charge at Peugeot last month.

(Reporting by Andrew Callus and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Brian Love)

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