Paris: Renault said Thursday that it made a net loss of €2.71 billion ($3.82 billion) in the first half, but noted that the “free fall” in auto sales worldwide decelerated in the second quarter.
In 2008, the French auto maker had made a net profit of €1.58 billion in the six months through June.
CEO Carlos Ghosn said Renault generated positive free cash flow of €848 million in the period demonstrating the auto maker’s “resilience” to the crisis.
“We anticipated the crisis from July 2008 and made the first decisions necessary to weather it,” the CEO said in a statement.
CFO Thierry Moulonguet said the improvement in free cash flow — the funds a company is able to generate after maintaining or expanding assets — came from reducing stocks, cost savings and lower investment.
That means Renault will meet its main aims for 2009: achieving positive cash flow and increasing market share.
“These objectives will be achieved by pursuing the action plans on further inventory reduction, managing receivables, limiting investments, reducing costs and by improving operational performance, compared with the first half-year,” the company said in a statement.
Revenues fell 23.7% to €15.99 billion.
Auto sales fell less sharply in the second quarter — 16.9% — than the first, when the drop was 30.8%. Europe contributed to half the revenue decline, despite government schemes to encourage people to scrap old cars and trade them in for newer, less polluting versions, Renault said.