PARIS -- PSA Peugeot Citroen posted a 4 percent rise in nine-month sales on Thursday and said it maintained its full-year margin and unit sales targets despite a weak European market.
Europe's second-biggest auto manufacturer said turnover in the first nine months of 2004 was 41.74 billion euros, up from 40.12 billion euros at the same point in 2003.
Sales in the third-quarter grew at around 4 percent, in line with the pace set in the first six months.
Sales in the three months to Sept. 30 were 12.8 billion euros, according to Reuters' calculations, slightly higher than a Reuters analysts' consensus for 12.67 billion euros, based on 10 analysts' forecasts.
PSA said it confirmed its full-year targets for modest growth in unit sales and for an operating margin comparable to its 2003 level, despite a contraction in the European car market and increased price pressure.
In 2003, PSA's operating margin was 2.93 percent.
The company said its growth was led by the sustained success of recently introduced models.
PSA had been banking on new models to begin reviving its sales in the second half, ahead of a full-blown product offensive next year which it hopes will take it closer to its goal of selling 4 million vehicles a year by 2006.
The company said its car and light commercial vehicle registrations in Europe fell by 2.9 percent in the first nine months, taking its market share to 14.8 percent from 15.6 percent a year earlier.
It said nine-month unit sales rose 1.6 percent to 2,477,200 vehicles.
Outside Western Europe, nine-month unit sales were up 19.5 percent to 684,000 units.