"After a first half impacted by Covid-19, the group has significantly turned around its performance in the second half," Renault said

Paris (AFP) - French automaker Renault said Friday it booked a record loss in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hit its performance and looked set to weigh on the outlook this year as well.

Renault said in a statement that it recorded a net loss of 8.05 billion euros ($9.7 billion) last year, compared with a bottom-line profit of 19 million euros in 2019.

Renault said that its Japanese partner Nissan, in which it holds a 43-percent stake, accounted for 4.9 billion euros of the loss.

Full-year revenues were down 22 percent at 43.5 billion euros and vehicle sales slumped 21 percent to 2.95 million worldwide.

Nevertheless, “after a first half impacted by Covid-19, the group has significantly turned around its performance in the second half,” the carmaker said.

“The results for the second half… mark the first step in the group’s recovery,” said chief executive Luca de Meo.

However, “2021 is set to be difficult given the unknowns regarding the health crisis as well as electronic components supply shortages.”

De Meo did not provide any specific forecasts for 2021, but insisted: “We will face these challenges collectively, keeping the momentum towards recovery we’ve been successfully engaged in since last summer”.