French carmaker PSA Group has raised its medium-term profit guidance after reporting record full-year sales and earnings, buoyed by the success of its Peugeot 3008 and 5008 SUV models.
PSA's recurring operating income jumped 43% to €5.69 billion, giving a 7.7% profit margin, helped by its acquisition of Opel-Vauxhall. Sales advanced 19% to €74.03 billion.
The financial performance "demonstrates the ability of our group to deliver a profitable and recurring growth", the company's chief executive Carlos Tavares said.
Strong sales of its latest Peugeot SUVs have helped PSA to build on a steady recovery from near-bankruptcy in 2013-14.
Tavares is applying the same discipline at the Opel division acquired from General Motors in 2017.
The company's chief financial officer Philippe de Rovira said the conservative "all-weather" objective covered the potential scenario in which Britain crashes out of the European Union in a no-deal hard Brexit, as well as other market setbacks.
Peugeot's relatively confident tone was in contrast to its domestic rival Renault, which set out earlier in February a weaker full-year profit goal.
The Peugeot-Citroen-DS (PCD) division, housing its legacy French brands, reported a record 8.4% margin as sales rose 18.9% despite adverse currency moves and higher raw-material costs.
Opel-Vauxhall (OV) recorded a 4.7% margin on sales of €18.31 billion.
In addition to the new margin goal, Tavares unveiled steps to address the group's increased dependence on Europe – which now accounts for 80% of global vehicle sales in the wake of the Opel acquisition.
The Citroen brand will launch in India as Opel returns to Russia in pursuit of a 50% group sales increase outside Europe by 2021, PSA said.
A long-promised assault on the North American market will be led by the Peugeot brand, the company added.