The French automaker PSA, maker of Peugeot and Citroen vehicles, boosted net profits in 2000 by 80 percent to 1.3 billion euros ($US1.19 billion), meeting a consensus of analysts' expectations announced earlier this week.

Operating profits also exceeded the analysts' predictions, rising 26.7 percent to 2.12 billion euros ($US1.95 billion).

Analysts had predicted an 82 percent increase in net profit along with a 25 percent rise in operating profit.

At a press conference, PSA said it plans to increase the 2001 operating profit to 2.6 billion euros ($US2.3 million) and boost the operating margin of its car division to 4.8 percent (2000: 4.2 percent; 1999: 3.5 percent).

PSA also announced a six-for-one stock split.

The company's shares finished 0.04 percent up at 278.1 euros on Tuesday.

PSA said it would introduce 25 new car models during 2001 to 2004, compared with the nine launched from 1997 to 2000.