MOSCOW -- Russia's largest carmaker, AvtoVAZ, said its net profit more than doubled in the first six months of 2011 compared with the same period a year ago, helped by rising sales of its Lada cars.
AvtoVAZ's first-half net profit came in at 6.4 billion rubles ($209 million), while its revenue rose 40 percent to 82.2 billion rubles, the automaker said on Tuesday.
AvtoVAZ, 25 percent owned by France's Renault SA, has been the chief beneficiary of a government program that rewards drivers with a 50,000-ruble trade-in on new models.
The automaker, seen as a barometer for the Russian car market, sold 443,917 Ladas in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 20 percent, according to figures from the Association of European Businesses.
The Russian car market has been recovering rapidly from the economic crisis of 2008 and is expected to pass Germany as Europe's largest car market, as sales are set to climb 73 percent to more than 3.3 million in 2015, according to forecasts from Russia's Ministry of Industry.
Sources: Reuters with contributions from David Jolley