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Renault performs better than expected

Renault has posted an 8.9% increase in third quarter sales, which was stronger than analysts had expected.

The company reported third-quarter sales of €9.487 billion (£6.61 billion) compared with the €8.712 billion (£6.01 billion) recorded in the same period last year.

The sales were well ahead of the €8.985-€9.310 billion (£6.255 - £6.481 billion) forecast range expected by analysts.

"The rise in automobile division revenues was mainly due to the overall increase in group sales, with sales growth on buoyant markets outside Western Europe, and a positive price mix in Europe," the company said.

Automobile financing operations generated sales of €539 million (£375 million), up from the €489 million (£340.5 million) posted in the third quarter 2003.

Renault said global unit sales rose 4.8% in the first nine months to1.867 million vehicles. In Western Europe, the company said Renault new car registrations rose 0.9% in the first nine months, for a market share of 10.7%, similar to levels seen in the same period in 2003.

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