UPDATE 1-Russian car maker Sollers first-half earnings slump

Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:42am EDT

* Hit by losses at joint venture with Ford

* Revenue falls 14 pct year-on-year (Adds details, company comment, context)

MOSCOW Aug 29 (Reuters) - Russian auto maker Sollers on Friday reported a slump in first-half net profit as a sharp economic slowdown contributed to losses at its joint venture with Ford.

Sollers said it had made 256 million roubles ($7 million) in net profit in the first six months of the year, compared to 1.7 billion roubles a year ago.

Its Ford joint venture, in which Sollers has a 50 percent stake, recorded a net loss of 3.4 billion roubles on revenue of 25.5 billion roubles, as the rouble weakened and the Russian auto market faltered.

"The main factor leading to the reduction of net profit is our share in the negative financial result of the Ford Sollers joint venture," Sollers First Deputy Chief Executive Nikolai Sobolev told reporters.

Its joint ventures with Japanese car makers Mazda, Toyota, and Isuzu, were profitable in the first half, the company's presentation showed.

According to the Association of European Businesses (AEB), Ford sales fell 52 percent in Russia in July while total sales of new cars in Russia declined 23 percent.

Revenue at Sollers fell 14 percent to 23.6 billion roubles and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation declined 8 percent to 2.9 billion roubles.

The company expects Russian car market to decline 10-14 percent this year, Sobolev said, in line with AEB forecast of a 12 percent drop. (1 US dollar = 36.9810 Russian rouble) (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Jane Merriman)