STOCKHOLM—Swedish automaker Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely, reported Wednesday a drop in first half profits as sales tumbled in its biggest market, China.
Net profit plunged by 60% to 173 million kronor (18.3 million euros, $20 million), while turnover climbed by 12% to 75.2 billion kronor.
Operating profit surged by more than 70% to 1.66 billion kronor, thanks to a strong U.S. currency and robust sales of Volvo's SUV model XC60.
Volvo's overall car sales in terms of units rose by 1.4% to 232,284 during the first half.
The strongest sales growth was registered in Sweden and western Europe, while remaining stable in the United States and declining in China and the rest of the world, including Russia.
Volvo went through several dark years before returning to profit in 2013. In 2014, it beat its sales record from 2007, selling almost 466,000 vehicles. CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Swedish news agency TT the company expects to sell 500,000 cars this year.
The number of Volvo employees has risen by 10% in the past year, to 28,000 worldwide.
Despite its economic slowdown, Volvo plans to boost its presence in China and has acquired 50% of three joint ventures from parent company Geely: two assembly plants and one research and development center.
Geely paid $1.8 billion to buy Volvo from U.S. carmaker Ford in 2010.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015