July 27, 2018 / 5:36 AM / a year ago

Renault lifts margins on record first-half sales

PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault said on Friday it achieved record levels of profitability in the first half as emerging-market sales surged, enabling it to shrug off challenges caused by adverse foreign exchange rates.

The group’s operating margin rose 5.2 percent to 1.914 billion euros ($2.23 billion), or 6.4 percent of sales from 6.2 percent a year earlier, the carmaker said in a statement. Revenue rose 1.4 percent to 29.957 billion euros.

Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said the results were the fruit of Renault’s “strategy of regional diversification”, as he reiterated guidance for the full year.

Net income fell 16.3 percent, however, to 2.04 billion euros, weighed down by a restructuring charge of 150 million euros as well as a weaker U.S. dollar, Argentinian peso and Brazilian real currencies.

Renault said earlier this month that first-half sales volumes had risen almost 10 percent to an all-time high, helped by rebounding markets in Russia and South America.

$1 = 0.8588 euros Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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