Cairo, 14 May 2010 - Reuters
- Sees Q2 net profit rising to $16-17.8 mln
- Sales in Iraq to reach 26,000 vehicles by year-end
- To start selling buses to Middle East, Europe by year-end
Egypt's GB Auto (Ghabbour Group) expects to double its profit in the second quarter, boosted by an increase in its vehicle sales to Iraq, company executives said on Thursday.
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 to buy.
The firm expects to double its second quarter profit to 90 million to 100 million Egyptian pounds ($16-17.9 million) on revenue of between 1.4 billion and 1.5 billion pounds, Chief Finance Officer Colin said.
"In the coming quarter, we expect profit to increase quite a bit on Iraq," Sykes said in a conference call.
Sales in Iraq, which began in mid-February, are to reach some 26,000 vehicles by the end of this year, up from 1,341 vehicles sold by the end of March, Sykes said.
The firm, Egypt's biggest listed automobile assembler, said on Tuesday its first quarter net income had jumped to 68.7 million pounds from 7.2 million in the same period last year, as sales extended a rebound from a slump in late 2008 and it expanded into Iraq.
Chief Executive Officer Raouf Ghabbour also said the firm planned to export buses to markets in the Middle East and Europe by the end of 2010.
"By the end of this year, we should start aggressive exports ... initially starting with the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region, focusing on big markets like Saudi Arabia and Algeria," Ghabbour said.
He added next year the company would target markets in other parts of Africa, and central and eastern Europe.
The firm manufactures, assembles, imports and distributes vehicles for Hyundai, Bajaj, Mitsubishi, Volvo and Mazda Motor Corp.