The French company, which is currently Europe’s third largest automaker, has reported its first quarter revenue went down 0.1% as bigger car sales were beaten by the euro’s gain on the other currencies.
While deliveries went up 5.1% thanks to the gains at the affordable Dacia brand, reaching a tally of 636,239 vehicles during the first three months, total sales went down slightly to 8.26 billion euros ($11.4 billion) from 8.27 billion euros in 2013.
“The European market was better than anticipated in the quarter, and this is good news,” said Chief Financial Officer Dominique Thormann. “The severe drop in demand in some key markets as well as adverse foreign-exchange movements” impacted the company outside Europe.
“Foreign exchange has been a major headwind but fully in line with my assumptions,” said Sascha Gommel, an analyst with Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “Pricing was a bit better, which might indicate an improvement in Europe.”
The French group is pushing into foreign markets outside Europe, which made it susceptible to currency swing effects – with the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based automaker reporting that foreign-exchange fluctuations made a 409 million euros charge.
Dacia continued its positive trend, thanks to its best selling two models – the refreshed Duster SUV and new Sandero hatchback, with sales in Europe jumping 42% in Q1, which fueled Renault’s 19% growth in the region.