French automaker Renault is mulling a further increase in sales in 2015 on new model introductions after 2014’s full-year profit more than tripled on rising European deliveries and a cost-cutting strategy.
According to a statement from the company, net income skyrocketed from 586 million euros in 2013 to 1.89 billion euros in 2014 even as the Russian market continued its deep dive. Revenue only modestly increased by 0.3 percent to 41.06 billion euros, added Renault. Renault’s figure showed “a strong set of earnings considerably above expectations despite weakness in key emerging markets”, according to Citi analyst Philip Watkins. The French group’s sales last year were buoyed by new models such as the Captur mini-SUV and all-new generation of the Clio subcompact, with the affordable Romanian brand Dacia also posting impressive figures on a revamped lineup. Total global sales soared 3.2 percent even as the automaker saw slumping demand in emerging markets such as Brazil or Russia.
The “unprecedented product offensive”, as called by Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn will go on this year with the introduction of the latest generation of the large Espace – now a niche offering that can be treated both as minivan and crossover. There will also be a replacement for the not so great-selling mid-size Laguna sedan and an entirely new model – the compact-sized Kadjar sport utility vehicle. “The improvement in profitability came mainly from cost-competitiveness,” commented Chief Financial Officer Dominique Thormann, with the automaker able to save last year 844 million euros – in part from a deal with French unions.