BERLIN (Reuters) - General Motors' <GM.N> European division Opel is struggling to reach profitability this year because of the effects of Britain's decision to leave the European Union, Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann said.

"The exit from Russia was really painful. Brexit is yet another issue to deal with and that is why the path toward breakeven is difficult for us," Neumann said at a conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

Opel, which includes British brand Vauxhall, last year shut its Russian factory in response to the country's slumping auto market.

GM reported its first quarterly profit in Europe in five years in the April-to-June period, but has warned that currency and market disruptions caused by Brexit could slash $400 million from second-half results in Europe.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer)