Source AP ©

Renault's sales of new model bring high profit in 3rd-quarter

Renault SA's sales rose 4.5 percent in the third quarter as the launch of new models started.

The company also reaffirmed its target of a 3 percent operating margin in the full year.

Revenue in the third quarter came to 9.34 billion EUR(US$13.29 billion), up from a restated 8.94 billion EUR in the year-ago period.

For the first nine months, revenue grew by just 0.4 percent to 29.90 billion EUR(US$42.55 billion), reflecting a weak sales performance in the early part of the year.

Revenue of Renault's automobile division, a closely watched barometer of the company's health, rose by 4 percent in the third quarter to 8.81 billion EUR(US$12.52 billion).

Shares in Renault had risen 1.2 percent to close at 105.71 EUR(US$150.26) before the results were released.

Renault has big hopes for its revamped Laguna sedan, which the company wants to position the as one of the top three in its class in the next two years.

Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn is also pinning his hopes on the rapid expansion of the low-cost Logan sedan - launching this year in India, Iran and Brazil - as well as the launch of a new Twingo super-mini.

Ghosn - who also heads Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. - said Wednesday on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show that he remains interested in a partnership with a major U.S. automaker, although he is not in talks or aggressively looking just yet.

A year ago, talks between Ghosn and General Motors Corp. about a possible alliance ended without a deal. Speculation has been growing that Chrysler and Ford may be looking for partners as they struggle to restructure their operations and boost profits.