Renault posted its first loss in a decade today as the French car giant took a hit from its alliance with Nissan, which remains mired in a scandal concerning former boss Carlos Ghosn.
The company lowered its guidance on the back of the results, setting a margin between three and four per cent, down from 4.8 per cent in 2019.
Renault made a loss of €141m (£117.1m) in 2019 after it was hit by charges pertaining to some of its joint ventures in China, as well as Nissan’s shrinking income.
Net income fell from €3.5bn in 2018 to just €19m last year, whilst sales fell 3 per cent €55.5bn.
Margins in the firm’s central car business dropped to 2.8 per cent.
Nissan, of which Renault owns 43 per cent, contributed €242m, down from €1.5bn the year before, as the Japanese firm reported its worst year for a decade.
Why it’s interesting
It’s been a year of great challenge for Renault, as the scandal surrounding former Nissan boss Ghosn almost saw the end of its partnership with the Japanese giant.
In October the French firm ousted its own chief executive, Thierry Bollore, with immediate effect. The move had the approval of the French government, a 15 per cent stake holder in the firm.
New chief executive Luca de Meo will join from Volkswagen in the summer.
Renault was also forced to write off €300m from Chinese operations over the year, where the car market has stalled.
The firm also warned that the coronavirus outbreak could have a knock-on effect on next year’s performance.
What Renault said
In a statement, interim chief executive Clotilde Delbos said: “Renault, despite a troubled year, has been able to achieve results in line with the revised guidance.
“Visibility for 2020 remains limited due to expected volatility in demand”.