PARIS - PSA on Wednesday reported a rise in car unit sales for 2016 thanks to business in Iran which the carmaker is including again after the end to sanctions against Tehran.
With the integration of sales from joint ventures and licence agreements in Iran, Peugeot booked a rise in deliveries of 5.6 percent. On a comparable basis, without the integration of the Iranian contribution, the figure dropped by 2 percent from 2015.
The group's three brands Peugeot, Citroen and DS, sold just over three million cars last year, of which 233,000 were produced under licence in Iran. In 2015, the group sold 2.9 million units.
PSA's post-sanctions return to Iran resulted in joint ventures with local companies Iran Khodro and Saipa, and a partnership with Arian Motor.
These partners continued to build and sell Peugeot cars under licence for four years during the sanctions regime, but PSA did not consolidate these sales into its accounts until 2016.
The Peugeot brand, which makes up around 60 percent of the group's total, saw a rise of 12.3 percent in sales thanks to Iran, but a fall of 1.4 percent without the Iranian turnover.
Global Citroen brand sales dropped 1.7 percent and DS by 16 percent.
Sales in Iran were "the result of the good work done by the brand and the Middle East and Africa region to restart business with our colleagues in Iran", Peugeot brand director Jean-Philippe Imparato said.
Europe group director Maxime Picat told BFM Business that he was "delighted to see our Iran sales back on the books. And this is just the first stage".
The local joint ventures were "the start of a powerful push" in Iran, he said.
In Europe, PSA's main market, unit sales grew by 3.6 percent.
In China and southeast Asia, however, sales dropped by 16 percent due to "an intensely competitive environment", the company said.
In Russia, sales fell by 12.6 percent, in line with the overall car market which has suffered from the country's economic crisis.