PARIS (AP) - PSA Peugeot Citroen says its losses mounted in the first half as Europe's recession ate into car sales just as it attempts to battle back from last year's record 5 billion euro ($6.6 billion) loss.

PARIS (AP) PSA Peugeot Citroen says its losses mounted in the first half as Europe's recession ate into car sales just as it attempts to battle back from last year's record 5 billion euro ($6.6 billion) loss.

The maker of Peugeot and Citroen sedans, hatchbacks and light trucks says it lost 426 million euros in the first half amid a continued slide in car sales and disruption at a key car plant near Paris where workers went on strike over the group's plans to shut factories and shed up to 8,000 jobs.

In a statement Wednesday Peugeot Citroen boss Philippe Varin said he "sees the first signs of the group's recovery," with the automotive division trimming its operating loss even as sales continue to shrink.