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Egypt's GB Auto sees net profit up 28pc

Cairo, March 6, 2011

Egypt's GB Auto said it expected its car sales to bounce back quickly after the political protests, but commercial sales would likely suffer for the rest of 2011.

The company, Egypt's biggest listed car assembler, said net profit fell 55.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, before the political unrest that began in January, while for the whole of 2010 it rose 28.1 per cent.

The company weathered the first week of the political turmoil without incident, its distribution and service networks and its inventory were intact and it hadn't had any labour action from its workforce, chief executive Raouf Ghabbour said.

"I am confident in forecasting that any negative impact on our segment of the automotive market will be short-lived, with a significant pick-up in sales during summertime at the onset of the market's historical high season," he said.

Ghabbour expected demand for passenger cars to bounce back quickly, but demand for commercial vehicles, which accounted for 9.7 per cent of revenue in 2010, would take longer.

"Pressure on the tourism industry and a general economic downturn will make it unlikely corporates will opt to significantly expand or renew their fleets this year," he said.

GB Auto said net income for the fourth quarter fell to 40.1 million Egyptian pounds ($7 million) from 89.9m pounds in 2009, while revenue rose 33.7 per cent to 1.8 billion. For the full year, net profit rose to 257.9 million pounds.-Reuters




Tags: GB Auto | Egypt auto firm |

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