PSA and Renault best rivals thanks to increased sales, but profits still shaky image

France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault have soared as the best performing automotive industry stocks for the first half of the year, but their underlying financial performance is still not just as fast rising.

The two European automakers, which were highly nonperforming during the onset and fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, have now taken full advantage of the growing continental recovery, as the home region makes up more than half of their sales tally. According to data gathered by Bloomberg, their margins and overall sales increases are still behind competitors. “A lot of this outperformance has been driven by the European car sales recovery. The fundamentals of Renault are much stronger than Peugeot, but if we’re talking about the macro situation, both stocks are exposed,” comments Kristina Church, an analyst at Barclays Plc. PSA Peugeot Citroen, with 61 percent of sales in Europe during the first five months of the year, is particularly exposed to any swings in the home region markets. The continent could fall into another lapse, as the economies are overall progressing slower than peers in the US or Asia and the Greek debt crisis is bringing renewed turmoil in Europe.

The automotive turnaround has remained feeble, with sales up 6.7 percent after the first five months of the year, shows data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Meanwhile PSA Peugeot Citroen, the second biggest automaker in Europe after VW AG, has seen deliveries inch up just 1.7 percent to a total of 632,349 units. Renault has outperformed the wide European market thanks to a 10 percent jump in sales to 575,116 vehicles. Shares have grown 84 percent and 57 percent, respectively, so far this year.

Via Bloomberg