Vauxhall owner PSA Group has said profitability reached a record high in 2019.

The French firm, which also owns Peugeot, Citroen and Opel, reported that its operating margins reached 8.5% last year.

Revenues were up 1% compared with the previous 12 months to 74.7 billion euros (£62.8 billion).

PSA Group chief executive Carlos Tavares said: “Our skilled and committed teams made the difference once again and we have achieved record results in 2019, driven by our agile, customer-focused and socially responsible approach.

“We are ready for the energy transition and all teams are focused to offer a clean, safe and affordable mobility for customers.

“Based on our business model and fighting spirit, which has proved to be efficient, we are eager to enter a new era with the projected merger with FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).”

There have been fears about the future of Vauxhall in the UK due to the planned merger.

The firms announced in December that they had signed a binding deal to create what would be the world’s fourth-largest car company.

If it goes ahead, significant cost-saving measures could put Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Luton plants at risk of closure.

PSA Group announced in June 2019 that it planned to build the next generation of the Astra at the Ellesmere Port factory, but warned this was conditional on the final terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Vauxhall employs 3,000 people in the UK.