Chinese automaker Geely said on Wednesday its first-half net profit rose nine percent year-on-year, as strong exports helped to offset a domestic slowdown in the world's biggest car market.
One of China's largest private car makers and the owner of Swedish nameplate Volvo, Geely said its net profit for the six months to June stood at 1.02-billion yuan ($159-million), up from 937.65-million a year ago.
Revenue rose six percent to 11.18-billion yuan, the firm said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange where it is listed. A total of 222 390 units of vehicles were sold during the period, up four percent compared to a year ago.
"The group's performance in the first half of 2012 was in line with our expectations despite continued slowdown in the growth of motor vehicle sales volume in China," Geely said.
The group's domestic sales volume fell nine percent during the six months, which paled compared to a 199-percent surge in its exports market, with over 40 000 units sold to destinations like Russia, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Export sales accounted for nearly one-fifth of its overall sales volume.
"Against a background of increasing global economic uncertainty, slower growth and continued fierce competition in China's sedan market, trading conditions in the second half of 2012 are expected to be more challenging," Geely said.
The car maker maintained its sales target of 460 000 units for this year.
Growth in China's auto sales slowed to 8.2 percent year-on-year in July, down from 9.9 percent in June, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Sales began to slow last year after Beijing rolled back buying incentives and come cities imposed tough restrictions on car numbers to ease chronic traffic congestion and pollution.
Geely said in February that it will begin assembling cars in Egypt this year with a local partner.
The company's share price rose 0.4 percent to HK$2.73 after the announcement.