PARIS — PSA Group delivered a big increase in first-half profit, as new models and the integration of Opel-Vauxhall more than made up for weaker emerging-market sales. Recurring operating income at the automaker rose 11 percent to 3.34 billion euros ($3.7 billion), lifting its operating margin to a new record of 8.7 percent in the first half, PSA said in a statement. “Our results are proving the sustainability of our performance despite the weakness of global markets,” CFO Philippe de Rovira told reporters on Wednesday. “These headwinds were more than compensated by our efficiency and continuous efforts to save costs,” he Rovira said. “This is a hugely impressive result,” Evercore analyst Arndt Ellinghorst wrote in a note, adding that PSA is now the benchmark for margins of premium brands, he said. Mainfirst analyst Pierre-Yves Quemener said PSA will not escape cyclical downturn and compliance headwinds. “We still see margins declining through 2021,” he said. The profit gain came despite a 13 percent drop in global sales announced earlier this month, as emerging markets weighed on PSA’s overseas business. Revenue fell by a more modest 0.7 percent to 38.3 billion euros, as new models such as the Citroen C5 Aircross and… Read full this story
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