SHANGHAI Aug 24 Chinese carmaker BYD Co Ltd
, backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett,
posted a 15.5 percent drop in first-half net profit on Sunday as
sluggish sales of gasoline cars offset a surge in its electric
BYD and other Chinese carmakers such as Geely Automobile
Holdings Ltd and Chery Automobile Co Ltd
are losing market share to foreign rivals Volkswagen AG
, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Corp
as competition grows in the lower-end of China's auto market.
Net profit during the first six months of the year fell to
360.7 million yuan ($58.64 million) from 426.9 million yuan a
year earlier, dragged down by a 27 percent fall in vehicle sales
volume, BYD said in a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
However, BYD's revenue from new energy vehicles, which
include electric or plug-in hybrid cars and buses, surged more
than 10-fold to 2.7 billion yuan, helped by a slew of government
incentive policies to encourage the use of green vehicles.
BYD said in the filing that 2014 "is a key year for the
development of new energy vehicles" and that it would look to
"grasp this huge opportunity and promote the use of new energy
vehicles both home and abroad".
BYD raised HK$4.2 billion ($542 million) in May through a
share placement in Hong Kong to fund mainly its electric vehicle
business. The carmaker currently has around a 37 percent share
of China's new energy vehicle market, and said it expects to
further strengthen its position in the second half of the year
with new models and expanded production capacity.
BYD's Hong Kong-lised shares fell 3.91 percent to HK$49.2 in
Hong Kong trading at the close on Friday, ahead of the earnings
announcement. The benchmark Hang Seng rose 0.47 percent.
BYD's shares are up 29.5 percent this year, ahead of the
benchmark up 7.8 percent.
(1 US dollar = 6.1510 Chinese yuan)
(1 US dollar = 7.7495 Hong Kong dollar)
(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Adam