Egypt, Iraq sales lift GB Auto’s Q3 net profit

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Egypt’s GB Auto said on Monday its third-quarter net profit rose 11.4 percent year-on-year, bolstered by higher passenger car sales in its home market and in Iraq.

The firm, Egypt’s biggest listed automobile assembler, said third-quarter net jumped to LE 71.4 million, in the middle of a range of three analysts’ forecasts, up from LE 64.1 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Estimates of three analysts polled by Reuters ranged between LE 60 million and LE 81 million.

The automotive sector in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, was hit last year by the downturn, but demand has started to pick up, helped in part by a government plan to offer affordable vehicles for taxi drivers.

"The recovery of consumer and business sentiment in Egypt has proven durable," said GB Auto Chairman and CEO Raouf Ghabbour, also citing sales growth in Iraq.

The company began selling vehicles in Iraq in mid-February, opening a new market in the Middle East, with sales amounting to about 2,500 vehicles per month.

GB Auto manufactures, assembles, imports and distributes vehicles for Hyundai Motor Co, Bajaj Auto Ltd, Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Volvo AB and Mazda Motor Corp.

Third-quarter sales climbed 66.9 percent year-on-year to LE 2.04 billion, boosted by passenger car sales, which rose to LE 1.64 billion.


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