Peugeot sales decline slows but Q3 disappoints image

French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen said third-quarter revenues slowed less sharply than in previous quarters as it boosted market share in Europe, where governments launched car buying incentives.

Peugeot Citroen shares fell over 7 percent in early trading as the revenues fell short of analyst expectations buoyed by forecast-beating earnings from German rival Daimler on Monday.

European car makers have cut production and reduced costs after auto sales dropped by their biggest fall for 15 years in 2008 and government incentive schemes have helped attracting clients to showrooms again, and order new cars.

This has especialy boosted smaller models, such as a large part of the Peugeot and Citroen line-up, but not the bigger cars such as the C6 or Peugeot 607.

“What we have today is a revenue disappointment and no obvious sign of the large production re-ramp that many have anticipated,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote.

“We would expect a dose of profit-taking today.” Third-quarter revenue at the group fell 7.7 percent, compared with a 24.9 percent year-on-year fall in the first quarter and an 18.9 percent drop in the second, Peugeot said in a statement on Wednesday.

The carmaker said it felt the benefit of scrapping schemes, whereby drivers get a discount on new models when they scrap their old vehicle. This applied in France, Italy and the UK, but especially in Germany, Europe’s biggest car market.

European markets were mixed in the third quarter, however, with a negative impact from central and eastern European markets, the company said.

The overall European car market decreased just 0.3 percent in the third quarter, compared with a 14.4 percent decline in the first six months of the year, Peugeot said.