UPDATE 1-Egypt's GB Auto 2009 Q4 net surges to $16 mln

CAIRO, March 7 Sun Mar 7, 2010 1:17pm EST

CAIRO, March 7 (Reuters) - Egypt's GB Auto (AUTO.CA), beating forecasts, said fourth-quarter net income soared to 89.9 million Egyptian pounds ($16.39 million), adding it saw recovery in the car market with sales climbing further in 2010.

A Reuters poll of three analysts forecast on average that Q4 net income of Egypt's biggest listed automobile assembler would be 75.5 million pounds. Net income in Q4 2008 was 12.1 million pounds.

"We experienced the first signs of recovery in the third quarter and that has been sustained as growth continued in Q4 2009," the statement quoted Chief Executive Officer Raouf Ghabbour as saying.

"This signals both the end of the yearlong recession in the market and our expectations of further growth in Q1 2010 and beyond."

The company manufactures, assembles, imports and distributes vehicles for Hyundai, Bajaj (BAJA.BO), Mitsubishi (7211.T), Volvo (F.N) and Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) and will soon begin selling vehicles in Iraq.

Revenue in the fourth quarter rose 47.9 percent to 1.32 billion pounds, beating a forecast of 1.28 billion pounds.

GB Auto approved in January issuing 5-year bonds worth 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($182.3 million) to fund new service centres in Egypt and regional expansion. ($1=5.485 Egyptian Pound) (Writing by Sherine El Madany, editing by Martin Golan)

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