PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest carmaker, reported a first-half loss and surprised investors by saying it generated cash after slashing production and reducing inventory amid the global auto slump.
The net loss was 962 million euros ($1.36 billion), or 4.24 euros a share, compared with a 733 million-euro profit, or 3.21 euros, a year earlier, Paris-based Peugeot said today in a statement. Free cash flow reached 467 million euros as Peugeot drew down unsold vehicle stocks by 31 percent , Bloomberg reports.
However, Peugeot's first-half operating loss of €1.33 billion, compared to a profit of €1.03 billion in the first half of 2008, was above the consensus forecast of a €839.5 million loss.
Revenue fell by 22% to €23.50 billion, reflecting the 20% drop in sales of the company's vehicles.
Like other volume car makers, Peugeot-Citroen has been squeezed by the plunge in global automobile sales due to recession, as well as an unprecedented rapid shift in customer preference to smaller, less polluting cars , Wall Street Journal reports.
Meanwhile, Varin said the company will start selling electric vehicles in the last quarter of 2010 and will bring out a full plug-in diesel hybrid vehicle in 2012 emitting less than 50 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer , Wall Street Journal reports.