PARIS -- Renault today said it is targeting further sales and earnings improvement this year after strong European deliveries of its low-cost Dacia cars and small SUVs helped to more than tripled 2014 profit.
The automaker's net income jumped to 1.89 billion euros ($2.14 billion) last year from 586 million in 2013 despite a deepening market slump in Russia. Revenue edged 0.3 percent higher to 41.06 billion euros, the company said in a statement.
Operating profit rose almost 30 percent to 1.61 billion euros, lifting the company's operating margin to 3.9 percent from 3 percent, with profitability at the core automotive division rising in step.
CEO Carlos Ghosn credited an "unprecedented product offensive" for Renault's full-year performance, adding in the statement that it "positions us on track to achieve our strategic plan."
Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst at Evercore ISI, said: “There was no major negative surprise, as the market feared.” He said Ghosn's forecast for the year should relieve the fears of Renault’s exposure to Russia.
Renault's numbers amounted to "a strong set of earnings considerably above expectations despite weakness in key emerging markets," Citi analyst Philip Watkins said.