HONG KONG — Chinese automaker Geely said Wednesday its 2012 net profit jumped 32%, helped by recovering domestic sales and strong growth in exports.

The owner of Swedish nameplate Volvo, Geely said its net profit for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012 was 2.04 billion yuan (US $328 million), up from 2011's 1.54 billion yuan, in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange where it is listed.

Revenue for Geely, one of China's largest private car makers, in 2012 rose 17% to 24.63 billion yuan.

The group saw a 157% rise in vehicle exports with 101,908 units sold abroad while the total of 483,483 vehicles sold in 2012 marked an increase of 15% when compared with 2011.

Geely said sales in the Chinese market were flat at 381,575 units sold, compared with 2011, due to negative growth in the first eight months of 2012.

"Our financial performance in 2012 beat our original expectations," the company said, adding that sales of indigenous brands in China showed recovery starting in the fourth quarter of 2012 after two years of negative growth.

Geely said in February it had acquired the maker of London's black taxis for 11 million pounds (US $17 million) after the British company collapsed into administration and has targeted 16% growth this year to 560,000 vehicles.

Growth in China's auto sales rocketed to 46.4% year-on-year in January compared with an increase of 7.1% in December 2012, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013