Feb. 13 - French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen posts record loss of five billion euros but promises to avoid further asset sales and government bailouts. Hayley Platt reports.
Five billion euros is today's daily digit - the biggest ever net loss at PSA Peugeot Citroen. It's a huge drop from a year ago and is mainly due to a 4.7bln euro asset writedown. That was taken in response to a collapsing car market in Europe. The French car maker's CEO is Philippe Varin (SOUNDBITE) (English) PSA CHIEF EXECUTIVE PHILIPPE VARIN SAYING: "2012 was a difficult year, but a year where we have laid the foundations for our industrial and commercial recovery. We have taken very difficult decisions for the restructuring plan, and the restructuring plan is on track." A legal dispute with unions over the closure of a factory has proved costly. But Varin said he was optimistic about the future. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PSA CHIEF EXECUTIVE PHILIPPE VARIN SAYING: "Yesterday we had an agreement of the majority of the unions to proceed. This is one. Second, we have the success of our launches, the Peugeot 208 for instance which is number one in its segment in December, and also our new technology: the hybrid diesel technology. But many analysts are sceptical. Peugeot's share of the market in Europe has tumbled - sales were down to 11.7 per cent last year from 12.4 percent. And while the company has made savings of 1.2 billion euros - a fifth more than its goal - it recognises more must be done. It's now planning to cut a further 900 million euros this year.