Ningbo Bird set for profit

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Ningbo Bird Co expects to be profitable in 2009 after selling its Shanghai subsidiary and implementing measures to trim its scale of operations, the Ningbo-based mobile phone maker said Monday.

Shanghai-listed Ningbo Bird, which used to be the country's No. 1 China-brand handset maker from 2003 to 2005, rang up a loss of 167.29 million yuan (US$24.60 million) in 2008.

"We have controlled the scale to cut costs," Ningbo Bird said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

In 2009, Ningbo Bird sold a unit in Shanghai for 60 million yuan to realize a gain of about 37 million yuan from the sale. The company also received a government subsidy of 14 million yuan.

Shares of the firm jumped 2.9 percent to close at 4.96 yuan, compared with a rise of 0.52 percent in the Shanghai Composite Index yesterday.

In the first half of last year, Ningbo Bird posted a loss of 38 million yuan.

Ningbo Bird has lost market share to Nokia and Samsung in China.

On the other hand, Ningbo Bird faced pressure from new home-grown brands like Tianyu and Lenovo Mobile.

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