French new car sales rose 6.3% in June, the second consecutive monthly rise after nearly a year of steady declines, pointing to a modest recovery in one of Europe’s worst-hit auto markets, according to Reuters.

French automakers’ association CCFA reportedly said in a statement new car registrations in June totalled 217,799 units compared with 204,946 a year earlier.

On an underlying basis – assuming the same number of working days in June versus the year-ago-period – sales fell 3.4%. There were 22 working days in June this year compared with 20 in June 2003, the report noted.

“In showing a better performance than in June 2002 and June 2003, June 2004 underscores the return to stability in the French auto market already observed in May,” the CCFA reportedly said.

In May, French new car sales rose 4.8%, the first underlying rise in almost a year, and, for the first-half of the year, new car sales slipped 0.1% to 1,067,840 units versus 1,069,160 a year ago Reuters said.

Renault saw sales rise 12% in June thanks to popular new models, while sales at rival PSA Peugeot-Citroen fell 2%, the news agency added.