PSA Peugeot Citroen Q1 down 7pct image

PSA Peugeot Citroen, France’s biggest car maker said its first-quarter group revenues declined 7 percent to 14.29 billion euros from 15.41 billion euros last year, dragged down by a 14 percent decline at its automotive division.

Worldwide sales totaled 790,100 vehicles, down 14.2%, with sales of assembled vehicles 15.1% lower at 691,500 units. The decrease reflected sharp contractions in Europe and Latin America, partly offset by higher unit sales in Russia and China.

“The competitive environment remained difficult during the quarter, with pricing pressure similar to the last quarter of 2011 and markets in Southern Europe worsened considerably, with an unfavourable impact on the group’s country mix,” PSA said.

Revenues from new vehicle sales dropped 16.9 percent from last year.

The company also said its 1 billion euro cost reduction action plan is ongoing. It expects net debt to reduce significantly, helped by the cost reduction plan and cash management program, by asset disposals and new model launches.

Outlook for 2012
In 2012, the Group continues to expect the Europe 30 market to contract by c.5% and by c.10% in France. Outside Europe, the Group is anticipating growth of c.7% in China, c.6% in Latin America and c.5% in Russia.

Industrywide first-quarter car sales in Europe dropped 7.3 percent to 3.43 million vehicles, according to the region’s automakers association.

The market’s decline was held back in part by growth at German carmakers. Volkswagen’s European sales gained 1.7 percent in March to 352,455 vehicles, while BMW’s increased 3.2 percent to 93,313 and Daimler’s rose 5.1 percent to 73,899.