By Yasmine Saleh and Tom Pfeiffer / Reuters
CAIRO: Egyptian vehicle distributor GB Auto reported an 8 percent rise in its fourth-quarter net income on Monday as soaring sales of its two and three-wheeled motorcycles offset a car market weakened by the recent political turmoil.
The company said in a statement posted on its website that net income for the fourth quarter of 2011 was LE 43.4 million ($7.20 million), compared to LE 40.1 million in the same period a year earlier.
Sales grew 7 percent to LE 1.877 billion, with two and three-wheeler sales soaring 31 percent.
The earnings were below the forecast of EFG-Hermes analysts, who said higher-than-expected provisions and finance costs offset the strong operational performance. The company gave no reason for the higher provisions.
GB Auto controls one third of the Egyptian passenger car market, which has grown fast in recent years thanks partly to easier access to credit, a wider range of cheaper Asian vehicles and a fast-expanding population.
HC Securities expects a 59 percent gain in the company’s earnings per share this year after a decline in full-year 2011 when the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak led to civil unrest that disrupted GB Auto’s business.
Its shares are up 18 percent this year, trailing a 47 percent gain by the benchmark Egyptian share index.