PSA Group is “ready to grab opportunities” as it announces strong financial results.
PSA has accumulated €6.8 billion in net cash – and posted a 79% increase in net profit to €2.1bn in 2016.
Its core auto business saw a 19% jump in operating profit to €2.2bn and its operating profit margin rose to 6%. Sales dipped 1% to €54bn, however, with unit sales of 3.15 million vehicles.
Yesterday chief financial officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon said: “ deploy this cash to make profitable investments and invest this money in the best interest of our shareholders.
“We are ready to grab opportunities.”
Such comments are said to reinforce PSA’s ambition to buy General Motors’ European Opel and Vauxhall operations.
PSA net income rose 92% to €1.73bn, with recurring operating income up 18% to €3.2bn, due to cost reductions.
GM’s European operations have racked up more than €18.9bn in losses and have been in the red every year since 1999.
But PSA chief executive officer Carlos Tavares has pledged to secure jobs and turn the company around like he did the French company.
The addition of Opel’s 1.2 million annual vehicle sales would help PSA boost its scale.
PSA made 3.2 million cars last year, which is well below Fiat Chrysler (five million) and Renault Nissan (8.5 million). VW and Toyota made 10 million each.
The merger would make PSA-Opel the second best-selling carmaker in Europe, with a 16% share, ahead of Renault’s 10% and behind Volkswagen’s 24%.