PARIS (Reuters) -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's global vehicle sales rose by just 1.2 percent last year as a China slowdown and emerging-markets slump almost cancelled out the benefit of a European auto recovery.
Global sales rose to 2.97 million vehicles in 2015, the Paris-based group said in a statement today.
Sales increased 5.9 percent in Europe and 6.4 percent in the company's Middle East and Africa region, but fell 0.9 percent in China and Southeast Asia.
Full-year sales were "impacted by a highly challenging economic environment" in emerging markets, the company said, with Latin America recording a 21 percent decline and Eurasia - mainly Russia - plunging 73 percent.
Chinese sales were up 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter, however, as the market recovered from some mid-year weakness, PSA said.
The group's new upscale badge, DS Automobiles, suffered setbacks in all major markets and a 14 percent drop in global 2015 sales as it awaits a second generation of models.
The Citroen brand, currently undergoing a makeover embodied by models such as the C4 Cactus, also continued to underperform in Europe and most of the world, posting a 2.1 percent global sales decline to Peugeot's 4.6 percent increase.
But Citroen gained ground in the Middle East and Africa, where its 16 percent sales jump outpaced Peugeot's 2.3 percent advance, thanks to strong demand for the pared-down C-Elysee sedan.
Under CEO Carlos Tavares, PSA has rebounded from a brush with bankruptcy two years ago to a 5 percent automotive operating profit margin in the first half of 2015, a level of profitability not seen for more than a decade. But PSA had warned conditions would become tougher in the remainder of the year.
The company is due to report 2015 earnings on Feb. 24.