CAIRO: Egypt’s GB Auto reported on Tuesday a leap in first-quarter net income, as sales extended a rebound from a slump in late 2008 and company the expanded into Iraq.
The firm, Egypt’s biggest listed automobile assembler, said net income jumped to LE 68.7 million ($12.3 million) from LE 7.2 million in the same period last year.
The automotive sector in Egypt was hit in 2009 by the downturn, but demand has started to pick up, helped in part by a government plan to offer affordable taxis to drivers.
"Having delivered an outstanding performance during what is traditionally the slowest period of our year, we look forward to delivering substantial top and bottom-line growth," GB Auto Chief Executive Officer Raouf Ghabbour said in a statement.
He added that expansion into Iraq in mid-February started to bear fruit, as sales reached 1,341 vehicles in the first quarter.
The firm manufactures, assembles, imports and distributes vehicles for Hyundai, Bajaj, Mitsubishi , Volvo and Mazda Motor Corp.
It said in March it expected to double profits in 2010 and would start exporting buses and trailers to some Middle Eastern and east European markets.
Sales doubled to LE 1.33 billion in the quarter, GB Auto’s strongest first quarter, boosted by record passenger car sales, which tripled to LE 953 million.
Commercial vehicle revenue grew 33.5 percent to LE 147.7 million, while motorcycle and three-wheeler revenue rose 4 percent to LE 122 million.