Renault revenues rise 30% in Q1 on higher sales and prices
PARIS (Reuters) -French car maker Renault said on Thursday revenues had grown by 30% in the first quarter thanks to a rebound in sales and higher prices.
Boosted by the launch of several premium models, including the electric version of Megane, Arkana and Austral, the group posted a 14.1% increase in sales over the period to 535,000 units, after four consecutive years of declines.
Revenues came in at 11.5 billion euros ($12.60 billion), compared with an analyst consensus of 11.08 billion euros provided by the company.
The carmaker, which was hit harder than most rivals by the COVID-19 crisis and a global chip shortage, is in the middle of a turnaround and is betting on higher-margin and electric cars to boost profits.
The group is ramping up the launch of new models to spur growth. It plans to launch a SUV version of its Espace minivan and a restyling of its best seller Clio city car, and 12 new models in 2024.
Renault confirmed its targets for 2023, with the group operating margin seen at least at 6% and an automotive operational free cash flow of at least 2 billion euros.
It said its orderbook in Europe stood at 3.3 months of sales at the end of Q1, and would remain above the target of 2 months through 2023. Overall sales in Europe rose by 27.3% in the first three months of the year, outperforming a 16.2% average increase for the market.
An early mover in the EV race which then struggled in the face of Tesla’s stellar growth, Renault said earlier this week it would review prices worldwide after its U.S. rival slashed prices in the United States, China and Europe.
Renault ranked as the third EV brand for sales in Europe behind Tesla and Volkswagen last year.
($1 = 0.9127 euros)
(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, editing by Silvia Aloisi)