Renault posts loss, Nissan shares tumble

Marco Green
February 16, 2020

Also on Friday, French carmaker Renault posted its first profit loss in 10 years and set a lower operating margin goal for 2020.

Renault set a 2020 operating margin target of between 3% and 4%, down from 4.8% in 2019, and sliced its proposed dividend against 2019 by nearly 70% from a year earlier.

Renault shares recovered from falls in early trading, and were up 1.8% at 1200 GMT despite it posting a loss of 141 million euros ($153 million) for the group share of net income.

In 2019, Nissan contributed just 242 million euros to Renault, a drop of 84% from the previous year and its lowest input since 2009.

The auto giant in 2019 marked its first full year without former emblematic CEO Carlos Ghosn, arrested in Japan in November 2018 over allegations of financial misconduct, including under reporting salary and misuse of company assets at Renault partner Nissan.

Delbos took the position on an interim basis but will give way to Italian Luca de Meo, most recently boss at Seat, Volkswagen's Spanish subsidiary.

Delbos said she did not rule out potential site closures in the teeth of current difficulties.

It was also hit by a deferred tax charge in France.

On Thursday, Nissan announced an 80 percent drop in net profit for the year ending in March.

In a statement Wednesday, Nissan said that it is seeking million in damages from Ghosn, who staged a dramatic escape from Japan to Lebanon late previous year.

He has denied wrongdoing and hit out at his past employers, saying the Renault-Nissan alliance was all but dead without him.

Previous year saw further upheavel, post-Ghosn, in the Renault hierarchy as director general Thierry Bollore was forced out.

Renault forecast that the global auto market would fall in 2020, with sales in Europe and Russian Federation down around 3%.

It also said it would not pay a dividend in the second half.

Renault has a factory in China's Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, which has been in lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

And group sales fell 3.3%.

French carmaker Renault said Friday it went into the red a year ago for the first time in a decade on lower sales and a falling contribution from its Japanese partner Nissan.

Nissan's shares closed 9.64% lower at $4.68 on Thursday. It also slashed its full-year dividend outlook to the lowest since 2011.

"It is too early for a halt in downward trend in Nissan's share price in this environment", Jeffries analyst Takaki Nakanishi wrote in a note to clients following the results.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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