Renault exceeded analysts' expectations and registered an increase in net income for 2003 thanks to the introduction of new Mégane II models and good earnings by partner company Nissan.

Renault exceeded analysts' expectations and registered an increase in net income for 2003 thanks to the introduction of new Mégane II models and good earnings by partner company Nissan.

According to , Nissan, in which Renault owns a 44,4 per cent controlling stake, contributed R14,8 million to Renault's R21,8 million net income.

Other elements contributing to the upturn were the steady growth in sales of diesel models, strong commercial performance in international markets, an increase in spare parts activity and a rise in sales of components to other companies.

Reflecting the success of new models, the group operating margin increased to 4,3 per cent in the second half, compared with 3,2 per cent in the first, giving a total for the year of R12,2 million, or 3,7 per cent of revenues.

Renault improved its performance in the second half of 2003 despite and despite a lethargic start, stabilised its share of the world market at 4,1 per cent.

The group sold a total of 2.39 million vehicles during the year, a 0,7 per cent decline on the previous year.

Earnings per share for 2003 were R81,10 compared with R65,51 in 2002.

In 2004, the company expects to benefit more from the Mégane II as it gathers speed and forecasts a group operating margin of around 4,5 per cent of revenue and a further increase in net earnings.

Original article from Car