Manufacturing News

Higher sales push Dongfeng profit up 76% in 2010

Dongfeng Motor Group Co., the Chinese partner of Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., said profits last year jumped 76 percent as the nation's economic growth spurred demand for cars.

Net income increased to 11.0 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) from 6.3 billion yuan a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Sales gained 33 percent.

Dongfeng, also a partner of French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, sold more cars as rising affluence in the world's largest vehicle market boosted demand.

The Wuhan, Hubei-based company plans to invest 30 billion yuan to expand capacity and introduce as many as 14 new models in two years, the company said.

"Brand recognition of Nissan and new models from Peugeot Citroen helped their monthly sales outperform the industry in the second half of 2010," said Steve Man, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Samsung Securities (Asia) Ltd., before the earnings were released.

Last year, the automaker's sales rose 33 percent to 122 billion yuan. That was in line with China's industry sales, which climbed 32 percent to a record 18.1 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Dongfeng's fourth-quarter profits totaled 2.4 billion yuan, according to figures derived from the nine-month results.

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