China's top automaker SAIC says Q1 profit rises 12.6 pct

SHANGHAI, April 29 Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:45am EDT

SHANGHAI, April 29 (Reuters) - SAIC Motor Corp, China's biggest automaker, posted a 12.6 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, helped by healthy sales growth at its ventures with Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co .

The Shanghai-based company made a net profit of 6.98 billion yuan ($1.12 billion), compared with 6.2 billion yuan a year earlier, it said in a statement posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange website.

China's vehicle sales rose 13.9 percent last year and are expected to grow 8-10 percent in 2014, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Vehicle sales volume at SAIC's venture with Volkswagen grew 25 percent during the first quarter while sales at SAIC's two ventures with GM rose 17 percent and 5 percent respectively.

State-owned SAIC generated about 90 percent of its vehicle sales volume from its joint ventures with GM and Volkswagen in 2013.

Earlier, China's official Xinhua News Agency quoting an announcement by the Shanghai government as saying SAIC planned to promote the head of its passenger car unit to become the firm's new president.

($1 = 6.2530 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Kazunori Takada; Editing by Mark Potter)

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