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Renault Q1 sales flat as foreign exchange pinches

Renault recorded roughly flat sales growth in the first quarter as weak sales in Asia and foreign-exchange pressure held back the French car maker, the Financial Times reported.

Revenues came in at €13.2bn, an increase of 0.2 per cent over the same period last year. Analysts had expected an increase of closer to €13.7bn. 

Renault was hit particularly by sales in Asia Pacific, which were down 18.6 percent compared to the prior corresponding period. Renault said that automotive revenues, not including its Russian unit Avtovaz, came in at €11.6bn, a drop of 2.5 per cent.

The company added the decrease was "mainly explained by a negative currency effect of 4.8 points, due to the strong devaluation of the group's main currencies" - Argentine peso, Brazilian real, Turkish lira, US dollar. 

Renault confirmed its outlook for 2018. It expects global market growth of 2.5 percent compared to 2017 and a 1 percent in Europe, 10 per cent in Russia and 5 percent in Brazil and China. 

The carmaker recently re-appointed Carlos Ghosn as Renault chief executive and leads the wider Alliance, which includes Nissan and Mitsubishi. 

 Mr Ghosn has said his newly renewed role was to make sure the global alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi was “irreversible”, and to move the businesses closer to becoming a single entity. 

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