China's top pickup truck maker Great Wall posts 24.5% profit fall

FILE PHOTO: Workers inspect vehicles at a workshop of a production base of Great Wall Motors in Yongchuan, Chongqing, China October 22, 2019.

Picture taken October 22, 2019. China Daily via REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's top pickup truck maker Great Wall Motor Co Ltd (601633.SS) (2333.HK) posted a 24.5% drop in first-half profit on Friday as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world's biggest auto market. The Baoding-based company, which has a joint venture with German luxury automaker BMW (BMWG.DE), said in a stock exchange filing it reported a 1.15 billion yuan (126.19 million pounds) net profit in the first half, down from a 1.52 billion yuan profit a year earlier.

Revenue for the first half fell 13% to 35.93 billion yuan. China's overall auto sales are slowly recovering from a virus-blighted start to the year. Sales in July climbed for a fourth consecutive month yet are still down 12.7% year to date.

Great Wall sold almost 400,000 vehicles in the first six months this year, down 13% from a year earlier. Its sales of pickup trucks surged 38% due to new P-series models while sport-utility vehicle sales tumbled 20%. Great Wall agreed to buy two plants in India and Thailand from General Motors (GM.N) and expects those transactions to be completed this year.

Rival Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (0175.HK) reported a 43% profit slide in the first half.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; editing by David Evans and Jason Neely

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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