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Old 02-02-2008, 05:45 AM   #20
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,189

Beiqi Foton profit up sevenfold

Beiqi Foton Motor Co, China's biggest maker of commercial vehicles, boosted 2007 profit sevenfold as the nation's construction boom boosted sales of trucks and pick-ups.

Net income rose to 388 million yuan ($54 million), or 0.48 yuan per share, from 47.6 million yuan, or 0.06 yuan per share, a year earlier, the Beijing-based automaker said in a Shanghai stock exchange statement yesterday. Sales jumped 41 percent to 27.9 billion yuan.

Foton, the maker of Aumark and Ollin trucks, plans to raise as much as 1.23 billion yuan in a private share placement and to form a venture with Daimler AG to tap the country's surging demand for trucks. China's commercial vehicle sales rose 22 percent to 2.49 million last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

"The company's profit growth may slow this year as last year's jump came from a low base," said Zhang Xin, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities Co in Beijing. Profit this year may rise 15 percent, or more than 0.50 yuan a share, he added.

Foton fell 1 percent to 12.03 yuan in Shanghai trading on Friday, before the earnings announcement. The stock has more than doubled in the past year.

The truck maker said in December that it would sell shares to domestic investors after scrapping a plan to sell a 34 percent stake to Daimler. Foton now plans to sign a venture agreement with the German company this year.
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