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2001 a year of self-sustained growth for Renault

Renault has proclaimed this year to be one of growth based on consolidation and cost cutting.

Further key points for the strategy, the company announced today, will be a growth in international sales, the launch of new models, increased capacity for diesel engines with a European market "stabilised at a high level".

A statement from Renault reads: "Cost cutting wil continue with the introduction of a new three-year plan targeting annual savings of one billion euros (£627m).

"To ensure its future growth, Renault will maintain a strong focus on research and development and consolidate its international expansion.

"The implementation of the alliance will continue to gain pace with the development of a second common platform and the intensification of co-operation in other areas."

The strong turnaround performance by its Japanese subsidiary has boosted Renault's profits for the 2000 financial year.

Louis Schweitzer, Renault chairman, revealed that net profits were up at £682m, largely due to a recovery by Nissan, which the French company has a 38.8% stake in. Nissan profits reached £286m in the second half of the year, turning around a first half loss of £397m.

The group's overall revenues rose 5% from £24.02 billion to £25.37 billion, the car division contributing £19.89 billion, largely due to a strong performance in Turkey, Argentina and Brazil.

In Europe, amid the debate surrounding new car prices, Renault's market share fell slightly.

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