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BYD sees profit plunge 44.4% in 2011

Mar. 1, 2012 (China Knowledge) - BYD Co<1211>, China's largest rechargeable batteries maker as well as automaker backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett, reaped RMB 1.4 billion or US$222.2 million last year, reflecting a year-on-year drop of 44.4% from RMB 2.52 billion.

The Hong Kong-listed firm attributed the profit plunge to fierce competition and slowing sales of solar-energy products.

The profit, however, was more than the average forecast of RMB 968 million made by 15 analysts at Bloomberg.

Earnings per share were RMB 0.61 in 2011 and operating revenue increased 1.21% from a year earlier to RMB 49.04 billion.

BYD saw its vehicle sales plummet 25% last year as its best-selling sedan model F3 waned amid competition from strong sales of General Motors' Buick Excell and Volkswagen' Lavida, said a person familiar with the matter.

The Chinese auto maker's S6 model reached around 16,000 units in January, beating the previous record of 15,000 units last December, the person added.

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