PARIS (Reuters) - Renault
Deliveries rose to 2.63 milion cars and light trucks last year, the company said in a statement on Tuesday, slightly short of the global auto market's 3.9 percent expansion.
New models helped Renault to weather the worst of the crisis in its home region and score significant gains in emerging markets, particularly for the no-frills Dacia brand.
Europe will return to growth of 1 percent in 2014 after six straight years of decline, sales chief Jerome Stoll predicted, as the global market expands 2 percent.
"In a more favourable market context, we are confirming our profitable growth strategy by continuing our recovery in Europe and increasing our international sales," Stoll said in the statement.
Last year's sales performance was largely powered by Dacia, whose global deliveries jumped almost one-fifth while Renault brand sales edged 0.4 percent higher.
Group sales rose 2.4 percent in Europe, bucking the 1.7-percent regional contraction in light vehicle demand with the help of a Dacia push into new markets, as well as a new Renault Clio mini and Captur small sport utility vehicle.
In Russia, another shrinking market, Renault sales surged 10.7 percent to more than 210,000 vehicles as the low-cost Duster model topped the country's SUV popularity ranking.
The budget offering made further headway in so-called "Euromed" countries including Turkey, Romania and Morocco - where the carmaker's recently opened Tangiers plant helped it claim a record 39 percent market share. Group sales rose 7.8 percent to 388,922 vehicles across the region.
Renault's underlying earnings performance, and the impact of weaker emerging-market currencies, will be disclosed with the publication of full-year results on February 13.
(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Laurence Frost; Editing by James Regan)