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Old 09-25-2006, 11:11 PM   #30
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Post Geely Auto posts gains after selling pricier cars

Geely Auto posts gains after selling pricier cars
Jin Jing
GEELY Automobile Holdings Ltd's profit soared nearly 200 percent to HK$123.7 million (US$15.8 million) in the year's first half, fueled by a sales increase in its higher-priced models, the company said yesterday.

The Hong Kong-listed company said sales revenue rose 93 percent on year to HK$69.3 million from January through June.

Two major subsidiaries, Shanghai Maple and Zhejiang Geely, were the big contributors.

Earnings also benefited from strong demand for a production line-up that moved upscale.

Shanghai Maple and Zhejiang-based Geely Automobile Co Ltd, China's leading private carmakers, netted combined sales revenue of HK$3.29 billion for the first six months. They sold 91,953 vehicles in the period, a 69 percent increase from a year ago.

Profit at the two carmakers advanced 190 percent to HK$294 million for the first half.

Geely, 46.8 percent owned by Geely Group, has rolled out more higher-priced models such as the Free Cruiser and King Kong sedans.

Half-year sales of the higher-priced cars accounted for 56 percent of the total, up from 38 percent from the same period last year.

Geely now holds a 4.8 percent share of China's passenger car market. The company aims to reach 5 percent by the end of this year.

As a whole, the country's carmakers experienced a slight drop in profit growth in July, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

China's auto industry manufacturers generated 41.7 billion yuan (US$5.2 billion) in profit for the first seven months, up 52.5 percent compared with the same period last year. The growth was 7 percentage points slower than the first half.

Sales revenue amonted to 848 billion yuan during the first seven months, up 29 percent from a year earlier and 1.2 percentage points below the first-half figure
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