Success is largely due to the popularity of cars made by Nissan, in which Renault has a 44% stake. The Japanese carmaker brought Renault an extra £1.2bn worth of profit – more than 75% of its total earnings. For many European and US carmakers, last year was very tough. Chrysler, for example, dropped out of the top three in the US for the first time in decades, while Germany's Volkswagen has seen disappointing sales of the new model of its flagship Golf.
But an all-new Megane made sure Renault didn't suffer the same fate. Despite a slow start to sales in the UK the model has helped boost company profits.