October 24, 2018 / 4:41 PM / 24 days ago

UPDATE 1-Pricing helps Peugeot weather sales, currency setbacks

(Adds CFO comment, details, background)

PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) - French carmaker PSA Group posted a 7.8 percent increase in quarterly revenue, buoyed by its acquisition of Opel-Vauxhall as well as strong sales of pricier Peugeot models.

Revenue rose to 15.43 billion euros ($17.58 billion) in the third quarter, the company said on Wednesday. The result beat the 15.27 billion euros expected by analysts, based on a Inquiry Financial poll for Reuters.

Under Chief Executive Carlos Tavares, PSA has rebounded from near-insolvency in 2013 to record profitability. But remaining challenges include a collapse in Chinese sales.

Turnaround plans underway at the French operations and Opel plants in Germany and Britain are “a strong lever to deliver a sustainable performance despite an adverse environment”, Chief Financial Officer Philippe de Rovira said.

But global deliveries fell 16.7 percent in the quarter, hit by PSA’s withdrawal from Iran this year. The sales decline is understated by the consolidation of Opel-Vauxhall from Aug. 1, 2017 - which also flatters year-on-year revenue comparisons.

The runaway success of Peugeot’s 3008 and 5008 SUVs helped to offset overseas sales setbacks and weakening currencies.

Strong pricing allowed the legacy French Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands to increase revenue by 0.8 percent to 8.49 billion euros even as deliveries were flat in Europe, 45 percent lower in China and down more than a quarter globally. Opel-Vauxhall automotive revenue came to 3.877 billion euros.

Pricing and so-called mix delivered a 3.7 percent revenue boost at the French brands as sales shifted to plusher models, absorbing negative currency effects and the deliveries decline.

PSA reiterated mid-term goals including a 15 percent increase in group revenue by 2021 - excluding the Opel-Vauxhall business, whose acquisition they predate. ($1 = 0.8777 euros) (Reporting by Laurence Frost and Gilles Guillaume, Editing by Sarah White)

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