PARIS (AP) -- France's Renault SA reported Thursday a 21.6 percent rise in car sales in the first half of the year, boosted by growth in emerging markets such as Brazil and North Africa.
Renault says it sold 1.34 million vehicles from January through June, up from 1.1 million in the first half of 2009.
The French carmaker forecast a continuing decline in car sales in Europe for the rest of the year, with the phasing out of cash-for-clunker government schemes during the financial crisis to encourage new car purchases.
Sales in Brazil rose 26.6 percent, and were up 14 percent in North Africa despite an overall slump in car sales there, Renault said in a statement. They were up 45 percent in the Asia and Africa region, the statement said, without providing a breakdown by country.
"Outside Europe, we will continue our offensive in reinforcing our presence in emerging countries, which are the basis for growth in the years to come," Jerome Stoll, deputy director for commercial and utilitary vehicles, said in the statement.
It forecast an overall rise in car sales over the year of 8 percent, but an overall decline in European sales for all of 2010 of 7 percent to 9 percent. Earlier this year it said the European car market could contract by 10 percent.
Crosstown rival Peugeot Citroen SA reported Wednesday a record number of unit sales in the first half of the year helped by strong demand for new cars in China. Sales of cars and light trucks rose 17 percent to 1.86 million units in the first six months of the year.