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Renault Q3'19 revenue dips 1.6% amid auto market downturn, Iran sanctions

French automaker Renault SA on Oct. 25 reported a 1.6% year-over-year fall in revenue for the third quarter of 2019 as the loss of the Iranian market due to international sanctions and the global slowdown in automobile sales took a toll.

Sales income fell to €11.30 billion from €11.48 billion in the year-ago period, below the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate of 11.96 billion, with five analysts reporting.

The results came a week after the company issued preliminary sales figures for the quarter and lowered its full-year guidance, forecasting a 3% to 4% decline in revenue and a group operating margin of about 5%.

Group vehicle sales, including budget brand Dacia and Russian brand Lada, fell 4.4% to 852,198. Renault said the global market fell 3.2% over the same period and attributed its performance largely to the loss of the Iranian market.

Renault said that when stripping out Iran, it outperformed the market in all geographies except Europe, where it posted a 3.4% decline in sales in a market that was up 2.4%. It cited a high comparison basis related to the introduction of the WLTP emissions testing standard and less-than-full availability of its new Clio model.

The group's passenger car sales fell 6% while light commercial vehicle sales rose 4%.

Renault said it now anticipates the global automotive market to shrink by 4% in 2019 versus its earlier guidance of 3%, based on revised expectations of sales in Europe, Russia and Brazil.

The company is hunting for new leadership after CEO Thierry Bollore was sacked after less than a year in the job. Analysts say the move was aimed at bringing in fresh blood to the group to patch up fragile relations with its industry alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

In morning trading in Paris, shares of Renault were down 0.5% at 48.74.