PARIS -- Renault Group posted an operating margin of 7.6 percent in the first half of the year, the automaker’s highest ever and already close to its 2025 target, helped by higher prices for its new cars, improved volumes and cost reductions.
The company also returned to a net profit in the six months through June, recording a net income of 2.12 billion euros ($2.35 billion) after posting a 1.68 billion loss in the first half of 2022. The loss was a result of the closure of its Russian operations in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
"These results are the outcome of our continuous efforts to reduce costs over the last three years and of our strategy focused on value combined with the first benefits of an unprecedented product offensive," CEO Luca de Meo said in a statement Thursday. "Our fundamentals have never been as sound and robust."
The previous margin record was set in the second-half of 2017, when it stood at 7 percent. Renault aims to reach an 8 percent margin by 2025 and 10 percent by 2030.
Among vehicles driving the revenue and profit gains was the new Austral compact SUV, which CFO Thierry Pieton said has the highest per-vehicle margin in the company's history.
Automakers’ finances are holding up well despite consumers being hit by a surge in interest rates and high inflation at a time when easing supply-chain woes improve vehicle availability. Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz Group both reported better-than-expected earnings.
Renault’s order book in Europe is at 3.4 months of sales at the end of June and set to stay above a target of two months through the year, the company said. Sales were up by 13 percent worldwide, and 24 percent in Europe.