Chinese carmaker BYD's earnings tumble on sluggish sales

SHANGHAI, April 24 Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:26am EDT

SHANGHAI, April 24 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett-backed Chinese carmaker BYD Co posted an 89 percent drop in first-quarter earnings on Thursday, hit by falling vehicle sales.

BYD and other Chinese carmakers, including Geely Automobile Holdings and Chery Automobile Co, are losing market share to foreign rivals such as Volkswagen , General Motors and Ford.

The company's net income during the first three months of the year fell to 11.97 million yuan ($1.92 million), against 112 million yuan a year earlier, it said in an exchange filing.

BYD, best known for its electric vehicles but still heavily reliant on traditional gasoline-powered cars, forecasts 350-490 million yuan in first-half earnings this year, compared with 426.9 million yuan a year earlier, saying it expects falling vehicle sales during the period. ($1 = 6.2376 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Adam Jourdan; Editing by David Goodman)

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