China's largest auto maker SAIC Motor said on August 29 that first half net profit jumped 46% but warned of future "uncertainties" in the world's biggest car market.
The company, which has joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen, earned 8.58 billion yuan (US$$1.34 billion) in the first six months, up from 5.87 billion yuan the same period a year ago. First half revenue rose 24.6% on the year to 183.9 billion yuan.
SAIC sold 2.01 million vehicles in the first half of the year, up 12.9% from a year earlier. It gave no forecast for its full-year sales for 2011.
For the January-July period, China's auto sales rose 3.2% to 10.6 million vehicles, according to figures from industry group the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. A record 18.06 million autos were sold in China last year.
But the auto sector has lost steam since Beijing phased out sales incentives such as tax breaks for small-engine vehicles, originally introduced to ward off the impact of the global financial crisis.
The company sounded a note of caution over the outlook for China's auto market, which overtook the United States in 2009 to become the world's largest. "There are many uncertainties in the macro-economy, particularly variables in the recovery of the global economy," the company said. "The domestic inflation situation remains severe and a quick pick-up in consumer confidence is unlikely, which will negatively impact China's auto market." China's inflation hit a more than three-year high in July as the consumer price index rose 6.5%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011
China's Largest Auto Maker Profits More than Double