French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen said Wednesday that it lost 343 million euros (444 million dollars) in 2008, after registering a profit of 885 million euros the previous year, dpa reported.
Badly hit by the economic crisis, which forced the company to close down production in the fourth quarter, Peugeot also saw its turnover fall by 7.4 per cent last year, to 54.356 billion euros.
Sales for the year fell by 4.9 per cent, to 3.26 million vehicles. However, because other carmakers are also suffering in the crisis, Peugeot was able to maintain its 5 per cent share of the global car market, the company said.
On Monday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that the government would loan 3 billion euros to Peugeot, at a favorable interest rate and for a period of five years, to help see the company through the economic crisis.
In exchange, company head Christian Streiff agreed not to shut any Peugeot sites in France for the period of the loan and to "do everything to prevent redundancies."On Tuesday, Streiff had warned that the prospects for 2009 were "terrible."