PARIS -- PSA Group's first-quarter revenue rose 4.9 percent as the automaker launched new models, raised prices and sold more auto components.
Sales increased to 13.6 billion euros ($14.9 billion), the automaker said in a statement on Wednesday. Automotive revenue increased 2.5 percent while sales at the Faurecia parts unit jumped 9.4 percent.
New models such as the Citroen C3 and Peugeot 3008 helped to offset the effect of a negative exchange-rate impact. "We can see the beginning of the success of our product launches with its first effects on the top line," Chief Financial Officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon said on a conference call with analysts.
The automaker's new 3008 and C3 models helped to lift the so-called "product mix" as customers opted for higher trim versions, delivering a 3.7 percent boost to quarterly revenue. That was offset by a negative 1 percent currency impact, primarily from the weaker British pound.
Pricing contributed a 0.4 percent uplift to revenue, the company said.
China continues to be a problem for PSA. Chatillon cautioned that "it will take some time" to fix PSA's problems in China, where the automaker's deliveries plunged 16 percent last year and another 46 percent in the first quarter. The company said earlier this month it will need deeper cuts and more SUVs to turn around it slumping sales in China. Sales through PSA's Chinese joint ventures are not consolidated in group revenue.
First-quarter global vehicle sales jumped 4.2 percent to 729,400 vehicles, PSA said last week. Growth was propelled by a fourfold surge in the Middle East and Africa, spurred by the carmaker's return to Iran, and a 31 percent increase in Eurasia, which includes a market recovery in Russia. PSA's auto sales in the European Union plus Norway, Switzerland and Iceland gained 3.7 percent, according to industry figures.
PSA lifted its full-year market outlook to a 1 percent expansion in Europe and 2 percent in Latin America, having previously forecast flat demand in both regions.
PSA said Wednesday that automotive operating profit margin will average more than 4.5 percent in the 2016-2018 period.
PSA and French competitor Renault together ranked fourth in price-cutting in Germany in March, compared with top place in January and much of last year, according to trade magazine Autohaus PulsSchlag.
PSA has been losing market share in Europe after scaling back discounts to shore up profitability. The French company is buying General Motors' Opel and Vauxhall brands to gain scale in the region. It said its two existing joint vehicle programs with Opel would lift its second-half revenue.
"Performance over the first quarter is not so impressive as it does not imply real market share gain, despite sales recovery in Iran," while the delivery plunge in China was "quite alarming," Xavier Caroen, an analyst at Bryan Garnier & Co., wrote in a report.
Peter Sigal, Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report