Despite a 1.9% increase in sales in a weaker European market, the PSA Peugeot Citroen group saw operating income plunge 16.1% and net profit fall 11.8% in the first half of 2003, due mainly to the stronger euro. Consolidated operating margin declined to €1,278 million from €1,524 million the year before, while net income decreased to €869 million from €985 million. Chairman Jean-Martin Folz noted the negative impact on the automobile division operating margin of the sharp appreciation in the euro, which reduced margin by €292 million, and the decline in the French market, which was much more pronounced than in Europe as a whole. This reduced margin by €58 million.