PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker PSA Group (PEUP.PA) said its first-quarter revenue rose 4.9 percent, as the first results of a new product offensive helped to overcome negative currency effects.
Revenue advanced to 13.63 billion euros (£11.62 billion) from 13 billion a year earlier, the maker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars said on Wednesday. At its core automotive division, revenue rose a more modest 2.5 percent to 9.02 billion euros.
PSA, which agreed last month to buy European rival Opel from General Motors (GM.N), said two existing joint vehicle programmes would lift its second-half revenue.
The Paris-based carmaker has rebounded from near-bankruptcy and government-backed bailout in 2014 to a 6 percent automotive operating margin last year on the strength of cost-cutting, a pared-down lineup and determined efforts to lift prices.
“We can see the beginning of the success of our product launches with its first effects on the top line,” Chief Financial Officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon said on a conference call with analysts.
However, Chatillon cautioned that “it will take some time” to fix PSA’s problems in China, where deliveries plunged 16 percent last year and another 46 percent in the first quarter - compared with a 4.2 percent increase in global sales volume.
The group said earlier this month it will need deeper cuts and more SUVs to turn the sales slump around. Sales through PSA’s Chinese joint ventures are not consolidated in group revenue.
New models, including the Peugeot 3008 mini-SUV and Citroen C3 hatchback, helped to lift the so-called “product mix” as customers opted for plusher versions, delivering a 3.7 percent boost to quarterly revenue. That was offset by a negative 1 percent currency impact, primarily from the weaker British pound.
But pricing contributed a more modest 0.4 percent uplift to revenue, the company said.
The French carmaker also lifted its full-year market outlook to a 1 percent expansion in Europe and 2 percent in Latin America, having previously forecast flat demand in both regions.
Reporting by Laurence Frost, Editing by Dominique Vidalon and Louise Heavens