Renault set a weaker profit goal for 2019 today, citing exchange-rate challenges and market uncertainties.
Today marks the presentation of the French carmaker's annual results without its recently ousted CEO Carlos Ghosn for the first time in 13 years.
The company, under new leadership since Ghosn was forced out over financial misconduct allegations, targeted profitability of "around 6%", compared with a 6.3% operating margin recorded in 2018.
Revenue and profit both tumbled in 2018 on the combined effect of currency setbacks, a withdrawal from Iran and a diesel sales collapse that hit engine production for Renault's alliance partner Nissan and affiliate Daimler.
The results nonetheless met Renault's own targets, including revenue growth before currency effects and an operating margin above the 6% benchmark.
"2018 was clearly a challenging year in which we faced expected as well as unexpected difficulties," new chief executive Thierry Bollore said, adding that the results "demonstrate the group's resilience".
Bollore, formerly Ghosn's deputy, was promoted to CEO on January 24, with outgoing Michelin boss Jean-Dominique Senard taking over his role as company chairman.
Ghosn faces trial in Japan after a Nissan internal probe uncovered evidence of misconduct including failure to declare more than $80m in deferred income - straining relations with 43.4%-owner Renault.
Ghosn denies wrongdoing.
Underscoring challenges to alliance cooperation, Renault's sales to partners including Nissan fell by €946m in 2018, reflecting collapsing diesel demand.
A further negative impact is expected this year, the company said.
Nissan's contribution to Renault earnings came in at €1.51 billion, a 46% decline from 2017 - when the Japanese carmaker's profit was inflated by one-off gains.
Renault's own cost-saving efforts in purchasing and manufacturing contributed €421m to profit, a 37% decline.
Overall revenue fell 2.3% to €57.42 billion, while recurring operating profit dropped 6.3% to €3.61 billion.
Net income came in at €3.3 billion, down sharply from the €5.31 billion recorded in 2017, partly reflecting the exceptional year-earlier gain from Nissan.
Excluding currency effects, revenue would have risen 2.5%, Renault said.
Analysts had expected recurring operating profit of €3.52 billion on revenue of 58.1 billion, based on the median of 12 estimates from an Infront Data poll.
Renault said this week that it had blocked €30m in deferred and severance pay to Ghosn, who had served as its CEO since 2005, and as chairman for almost a decade.
The carmaker said it saw no need for any financial provisions in relation to the scandal and ongoing investigation into Ghosn's conduct and executive payments by Renault and the jointly owned Renault-Nissan BV alliance management company.