PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault will repay on Friday a third of the 6 billion euros ($7.6 billion) in French government loans, after scrapping schemes helped the carmakers emerge from the financial crisis.

Both companies are repaying 1 billion euros.

France gave loans of 3 billion euros apiece to PSA and Renault in April last year to ensure the survival of the two groups, which account for hundreds of thousands of French jobs.

They were due to be paid back from next year.

The reimbursement will be made out of existing liquidity resources, permitting the group to reduce gross debt and to realize significant interest expense savings, PSA said.

Renault said in a separate statement the repayment would help it reduce gross debt and lower interest expenses.

Both said in June they would repay part of the loans early. Renault said at the time it aimed to repay at least 500 million euros this year, while PSA said it could pay back 1 billion in the second half.

Renault shares were 0.3 percent higher at 35.35 euros by 0708 GMT, while PSA shares were up 0.4 percent at 22.74 euros.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Dan Lalor)

($1 = 0.7871 euro)