Renault hit by €3bn loss after crisis year

FRENCH carmaker Renault posted a wider-than-expected yearly net loss yesterday and fought shy of predicting a profit in 2010, sending its shares down more than five per cent.

Renault , maker of the Twingo, Clio and Modus models, expects economic conditions to remain tough in 2010 and sees a 10 per cent drop in the European market as a whole. Its chief executive Carlos Ghosn gave no earnings forecast for the year ahead.

“Frankly we think that in 2010 there is still a lot of uncertainty and volatility and we don’t want to spend our time every month correcting the earnings guidance,” said Ghosn. “We think that 2010 is particularly obscure,” he said, adding however the year had got off to a good start in orders.

For the past year Renault posted a net loss of €3.07bn (£2.68bn). In 2008 it made a profit of €599m.
Renault said it would focus on generating positive free cash flow in a tough 2010 market.

The group’s full-year sales fell 10.8 per cent to €33.7bn.

Chief financial officer Thierry Moulonguet said Renault is working on a new medium-term plan and hopes to present it at the start of next year.