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Geely Reports Fat Profits

Hong Kong-listed Geely Automobile Holdings Co, which produces low-cost cars on the Chinese mainland, said yesterday that its profit skyrocketed by more than 60 times in the first six months of this year.

The company reported 54.4 million Hong Kong dollars (US$7 million) in net income during the period, up from 903,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$115,770) a year ago, in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Its earnings per share surged to 1.32 Hong Kong dollars (US$0.17) in the six months from 0.03 Hong Kong cents (US$0.004).

Its sales jumped by 53 percent to 23.9 million Hong Kong dollars (US$2.7 million) year-on-year.

Twenty percent of the company's shares are owned by Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Group, the biggest privately-owned passenger car maker on the Chinese mainland.

The listed firm runs two car joint ventures in Shanghai and Ningbo in East China's Zhejiang Province with the parent Geely Group.

The listed firm and Geely Group control 46.8 and 53.2 percent respectively in both of the two joint ventures.

Geely Group sold more than 63,000 cars from January to July this year, up 65.9 percent from the same period of last year, Xu Gang, the group's chief executive officer, told China Daily.

Xu said that the group aims to increase sales to 125,000 cars this year from more than 80,000 units last year.

The group will launch new 1.5 and 1.6-litre notchbacks, designed by South Korea's Daewoo International Corp, at the joint venture in Ningbo in October, Xu said.

A number of new products, designed by engineers from Italy and Germany, will also be produced at the two joint ventures later.

Geely Group is also making the compact Merrie, Haoqing, Ulion, Maple and Meirenbao - the first so-called Chinese-designed sports car.

Geely Group, which started to produce cars in 1998, plans to increase its annual production capacity to 650,000 cars in 2007 from 200,000 units now.

It aims to raise accumulated car sales to 1 million units by 2007 from more than 230,000 units at present.

Geely Automobile Holdings ended at 0.42 Hong Kong dollars (US$0.054) per share yesterday, up 8.97 percent.

(China Daily August 31, 2004)

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