China car giant SAIC records 12.8% profit rise in 2014

11:36 AM | 3 Apr, 2015
China car giant SAIC records 12.8% profit rise in 2014
SHANGHAI (APP) - China's largest automaker, SAIC Motor, said net profit rose 12.8 percent last year on strong passenger car sales but gains were stunted by slower growth in the world's number two economy.

The Shanghai-based firm said net profit was 27.97 billion yuan ($4.56 billion), up from 24.80 billion yuan in 2013, according to a statementissued to the Shanghai stock exchange late Thursday.

"In 2014, the domestic auto market slowed under the influence of the macroeconomic down trend," said SAIC, which has joint ventures with General Motors of the United States and Germany's Volkswagen.

China's economy expanded an annual 7.4 percent last year, the slowest in nearly a quarter of a century.

Overall auto sales in China -- the world's biggest car market -- rose 6.9 percent to 23.49 million vehicles last year, according to industry group the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. In 2013, sales surged an annual 13.9 percent.

SAIC's operating revenue rose 11.4 percent year-on-year to 630 billion yuan in 2014, the statement said.

The company recorded sales of 5.62 million vehicles last year, up 10.1 percent from 2013, it said, adding that passenger car sales surged 16.2 percent to 4.60 million units but commercial vehicle sales plunged 11.0 percent to 1.02 million.

The car maker attributed the slump in commercial vehicle sales partly to stricter environmental standards. A number of Chinese cities have slapped limits on vehicle numbers to cut congestion and pollution.

The company's Shanghai-traded shares were up 1.80 percent by midday on Friday after releasing the results.

SAIC has set a sales target of more than 6.2 million vehicles this year, the statement said but warned it "may face risk from the macro-economy, market fluctuations and policy changes".