2019 a difficult year for Groupe Renault

Worldwide
Published:  17 February, 2020
Renault Espace Initiale

Sales for the French automotive Group totalled 3.8 million units in 2019, down 3.4% compared with the previous year.

Groupe Renault’s revenues declined 3.3% to €55,537 million in 2019; at constant exchange rates, these would have been down 2.7%. Group operating margin totalled €2,662 million (4.8% of revenues), €950 million lower compared with 2018. Group operating income came in at €2,105 million against €2,987 million in the previous year, while net income was €19 million compared with €3,451 million in 2018. According to Renault, this decline came mainly from lower associated companies’ contribution, down €1,730 million and a charge of deferred tax in France for €753 million.

The Group attributed the decline in revenue to a negative volume effect of -1.4 points, notably linked to lower sales in Argentina, Turkey and Algeria. Sales to partners were down 3.4 points due to lower vehicle production for Nissan and Daimler, as well as the decline in demand for diesel engines in Europe and the sharp drop in the Group’s Complete Knock Down (CKD) business in China and the end of this activity in Iran. During a results conference call, Clotilde Delbos, Acting Chief Executive, said 2019 was a “tough year” for Renault and the Alliance, which includes Nissan, and that the slowdown in the automotive industry also impacted the results.

Nissan has posted its first quarterly loss in nearly ten years and announced it has cut its operating profit forecast. In the first nine months of the Company’s fiscal 2019, global unit sales decreased 8.1% to 3.70 million units; with volumes down 1.7% in Japan, 10.7% in China, 16.2% in Europe and 9.1% in the U.S.. For its full fiscal year, the manufacturer now expects to sell 5.05 million vehicles, a 3.6% decrease from the previous forecast in November.

In its outlook for 2020, Groupe Renault expected the global automotive market to decline, with Europe down by at least 3%, Russia 3% and the Brazilian market up around 5%. Within a context of “low visibility”, notably due to the Clean Air For Europe (CAFE) regulation in Europe, and a significant rise of depreciation related to investments made for preparing the future, Groupe Renault said it aims to achieve Group revenues in line with 2019 at constant exchange rates, and a Group operating margin between 3% and 4%. The Group highlighted that this guidance does not take into account the possible impacts related to the coronavirus health crisis.