Stellantis said on Wednesday its board had approved a €1bn cash distribution for investors as detailed under in the merger agreement between Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) and Peugeot-owner PSA. The payout is still subject to shareholder approval at Stellantis' AGM in mid-April.
Details of the shareholder return came as Stellantis reported annual results for its two operating companies. The $52bn merger between FCA and PSA completed in mid-January 2021 and Stallantis reported results for the two businesses separately.
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FCA, which owns brands like Fiat, Chrysler and Maserati, saw sales fall 20% to €86.6bn as the COVID-19 pandemic hit demand. The business made a net profit of just €24m, down 99% on the prior year. The company said performance improved towards the end of the year, with record adjusted profits in the fourth quarter.
PSA, which owns the likes of Citroën and Vauxhall, said revenue fell 18.7% to €60bn due to the pandemic. Operating profit was more resilient than at FCA, dropping from €6.3bn in 2019 to €3.6bn.
"These figures demonstrate the financial soundness of Stellantis, bringing together two strong and healthy companies," group chief executive Carlos Tavares said. "Stellantis gets off to a flying start and is fully focused on achieving the full promised synergies.”
Tavares said PSA's "sustainable financial results represent a key contribution to Stellantis launch, aiming at providing a clean, safe and affordable mobility as well as added value to all its external stakeholders and employees."
He added: "I would also like to express my sincere and warm thanks to all employees for their outstanding behavior and commitment during this dreadful year."
Stellantis forecast strong 2021 sales, predicting a rise of 10% in Europe, 8% in North America, and 5% in China. The company said margins for the year would be between 5.5% and 7.5%, assuming there were no more COVID-19 related lockdowns.
Shares rose 2.3% in Milan.
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