China Carmaker Geely Sales Rose 55%

Company sold 195,734 vehicles in the first half of the year, 42% higher than the same period last year.

Geely said on August 25 that its first-half sales soared on the back of booming demand in the world's largest car market. Sales rose 55% to 9.24 billion yuan (US$1.36 billion) from 5.95 billion yuan in the first half of 200.

The company said it booked a profit of 804.8 million yuan, up 35% from 595.9 million yuan in the year-earlier period.

"The Groups overall performance in the first half of 2010 was very encouraging, helped by the strong demand for sedans in the China market," Geely said.

Beijing's tax breaks on small car sales and subsidies for energy-saving vehicles would help boost demand, Geely said.

Geely said it sold 195,734 vehicles in the first half of the year, 42% higher than the same period last year.

The automaker also said it had struck a deal with Internet retailer Alibaba.com to start selling its sedans online next year.

Despite the rosy results, the carmaker warned that it expects "competition in both the domestic and export market would continue to intensify and that the group could face more challenges in the remainder of the year."

Geely's parent Zhejiang Geely Holding earlier this month paid $1.5 billion for Volvo, less than a quarter of what Ford dished out for the Swedish company in 1999. The deal was expected to help the ambitious Chinese company, a brand known for its safety and sturdiness, build up its position among Chinese carmakers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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