Millennium Post

Renault reports first net losses in decade for 2019

Paris: French carmaker Renault said Friday it went into the red last year for the first time in a decade on lower sales and a falling contribution from its Japanese partner Nissan.

Renault said in a statement it suffered net losses of 141 million euros ($152 million).

It added the outlook for 2020 was bleak with a fresh fall in operational profitability expected and did not rule out possible plant closures.

Last year saw group operating margin drop from 6.3 per cent to 4.8 per cent, though Renault stated that it "achieved its targets, revised in October," despite "a troubled context."

The auto giant in 2019 marked its first full year without former emblematic CEO Carlos Ghosn, arrested in Japan in November 2018 over allegations of financial misconduct, including under reporting salary and misuse of company assets at Renault partner Nissan.

Brazilian-born Ghosn, who also has French and Lebanese nationality, is now in Lebanon, where he fled in December after jumping bail in Japan.

In a struggling global auto market Renault saw group revenues slide 3.3 per cent to 55.5 billion euros while confirming sales dropped 3.4 per cent at 3.75 million vehicles.

Unveiling operating income down almost a third to 2.11 billion euros, the group said it expected 2020 to bring a further profitability hit, with revenues of a similar order to 2019.

"Visibility for 2020 remains limited by expected market volatility ... and the possible impacts of the coronavirus," said acting CEO Clotilde Delbos.

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