Everyone’s in financial trouble no thanks to Covid-19, right? Those observing the shopping spree of some Malaysians, and the maker of Peugeot and Citroen will disagree. France’s PSA Group has recorded a profit in the first half of 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic hitting Europe hard.

Net profit for the first half of 2020 was 595 million euros (RM2.96 billion), down from 1.83 billion euros in the first half of 2019. Revenue fell 34.5% to 25.12 billion euros. However, PSA reported a “very strong rebound” for June sales in its core European markets, and the bull run had extended into July.

The carmaker – which like all the other auto companies, had to stop production and close dealerships during the height of the outbreak – will be sticking to its mid-term profit margin target, Reuters reported. PSA reiterated its goal for average margins of over 4.5% for 2019-2021, even though it stands at 3.7% at 1H 2020, down from 8.5% at the end of 2019.

PSA’s CEO Carlos Tavares said that the group’s order books were “excellent” at the end of the first half, pumped up by pent-up demand for reigning European Car of the Year Peugeot 208 and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa after lockdowns eased. The company said it was experimenting with more online sales, and expected this to become a growing part of the business.

Meanwhile, Tavares told analysts the agreed merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to create the world’s fourth largest carmaker under the name Stellantis is still on track to finalise in Q1 2021.

Not everyone is doing so well though, especially not Nissan.

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