January 12, 2011 / 5:02 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Geely shares up after 2010 sales beat target

* Geely sets 2011 sales target of 480,000 units, up 16 pct

* Shares rise as much as 3.5 percent on Wednesday (Adds 2011 target, analyst quotes)

HONG KONG, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Shares in Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (0175.HK) rebounded on Wednesday after the automaker said its December auto sales rose 25.5 percent, lifting annual sales above the full-year target of 400,000 units.

The stock climbed as much as 3.5 percent to a session high of HK$3.82 before paring gains to 1.9 percent by the midday trading break, beating the blue chip Hang Seng Index's .HSI 0.8 percent rise.

Geely, whose parent bought Swedish premium brand Volvo Cars from Ford Motor Co (F.N) last year, told Reuters on Tuesday that 2010 sales rose 27 percent. [ID:nTOE70A03T]

The company has set a sales target for 2011 of 480,000 units, an increase of about 16 percent over 2010, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange late on Tuesday.

    “The target is largely in line with the industry as we expect China’s auto sales to rise about 15 percent this year,” Kim Eng auto analyst Robert Wang.

    Geely reported its best monthly sales ever in December of 56,133 vehicles, taking full-year sales to 415,286. Concern that Geely might miss its 2010 target had sent its stock down 4.2 percent in the past two days.

    “Geely’s sales exceeded the company’s target by 3.1 percent and that removed market concerns,” Wang said.

    Auto sales in China rose by a third to a record in 2010, but analysts said sales may decline, especially in the first few months of this year, after Beijing scrapped incentives for small cars. [ID:nTOE70304D] (Reporting by Alison Leung; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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