Renault sees 39% profits drop

French carmaker Renault's profits plunged 39 per cent in the first half of the year, driven in part by expenses related to changes in the product cycle. Its revenues were largely unchanged over last year.

The company sold a record number of vehicles outside Europe from January to June, off-setting a sharp fall-off in its core market. Sales slipped one per cent for the first half to 20.9 billion euros ($A24.85 billion). Net profit was 746 million euros.

The company said on Friday that it expects that trend to continue in the second half of the year and become even more pronounced. It predicts the French market will contract 10 to 11 per cent, and the rest of Europe will shrink 6 to 7 per cent. Global demand, by contrast, should rise 5 per cent.

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