RCI Banque, Groupe Renault’s financial services arm, reported a 31% year-on-year increase in revenues for the third quarter of the year, which hit €800m (£705m).

The number of new contracts decreased 2.5% to 424,000 agreements, with the value of new financing hovering around the €5bn mark. Stasis in new business was offset by the higher value of performing assets, 12.9% higher than last year.

The unit’s reported revenues benefitted from a change in how Renault accounts for interest rate subsidies, which moved from the financial services statement to the  automotive one. Excluding the effect from accounting changes, the rise in revenues would have been 7.9% to €658m.

Europe trains Renault sales as emerging markets falter

Groupe Renault saw increased registrations in European markets up 8.8%., primarily Spain and France, which chief financial officer Clotilde Delbos attributed to “satisfactory” management of new regulation such as WLTP. Some carmakers, such as Volkswagen, have been struggling with sales in Europe as a backlog of WLTP emission testing hold up deliveries.

The increase in European deliveries was offset by emerging market sales, particularly inflation-battered Turkey and Argentina. Despite an overall rise in sales, which totalled 891,500 units, the group reported an 8.4% drop in revenues from the automotive segment (excluding Russia’s Avtocaz), totalling €10bn.

“It has not been an easy [quarter], as we had to deal with headwinds like WLTP, Iran [sanctions], difficult emerging markets and forex,” Delbos said. “But we have shown strong resilience and I confirm today our guidance for the year.”

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Delbos expressed satisfaction with the group’s position in ultra-low emission vehicles. Renault has gained a significant market share in the electric vehicle (EV) segment in recent years thanks to the Zoe city car and the ZE van range.

“In EVs, the group is leading the European market neck-to-neck with Nissan, despite a lower supply than expected for some components,” Delbos said. Renault and Nissan are part of a long-standing market alliance together with Mitsubishi.