Peugeot group profits jump ahead of Fiat merger

Peugeot factories may be getting a little less busy, but profits at owner PSA Group are at record highs.

The firm - which also makes brands including Citroen and Opel - was helped by sales of pricier SUVs.

That helped lift net profits to 3.2 billion euros - about $3.5 billion.

The news will add to good cheer ahead of its merger with Fiat Chrysler.

Earlier in the month the Italian firm also posted relatively upbeat results.

That leaves the pair outshining a sector dogged by slumping sales.

The merged firm will still face headwinds though.

PSA forecasts that Europe's car market will shrink 3% this year.

Meanwhile the coronavirus epidemic has caused a slump in sales in China, the world's largest auto market.

PSA factories in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, remain closed.