MOSCOW –- Russia's second-largest automaker GAZ raised its full-year sales and profit outlook, citing improved market conditions as well as the launch of new models.
GAZ, controlled by tycoon Oleg Deripaska, now expects full-year 2011 net profit of 3.5-4.0 billion rubles ($115-$130 million) and revenues of 130 billion rubles, its CFO Yevgeny Belinin told reporters on Tuesday.
GAZ also sees 2011 earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at 12.8-13.5 billion rubles, Belinin added.
The company had previously forecast net profit at 3 billion rubles, revenue at 110 billion rubles and EBITDA at 11 billion rubles.
In the first half of 2011, GAZ's revenue rose 39 percent to 52.1 billion rubles while EBITDA increased 51 percent to 5 billion rubles, resulting in a 1.5 billion ruble profit against a 0.5 billion ruble loss a year ago, President Bo Andersson told reporters on Tuesday.
In 2010, its revenues stood at 96.7 billion rubles while full-year net profit was 2.1 billion rubles.
GAZ is Russia's biggest manufacturer of light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses, but has just 1 percent of the passenger car market. In September, the company unveiled a new range of vans, trucks and buses at Moscow's main auto fair.
The company, which used to build Volga vehicles, now manufacturers cars for Volkswagen and General Motors Co. at its car assembly factory in Nizhny Novgorod. GAZ plans to produce over 105,000 vehicles this year.
Last week, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said that Russian car sales are expected to grow 12 percent to 2.8 million units in 2012, down from around 30 percent growth in 2011, but maintaining a recovery that should allow the market to return to pre-crisis levels.
The AEB has upgraded its forecast for 2011 to 2.55 million units from 2.45 million.
Russia was on course to overtake Germany as Europe's biggest car market before the financial crisis, but a collapse in demand as credit dried up caused sales to halve in 2009.
Russian year-to-date sales came in at 2.16 million last week, up 43 percent from the same period in 2010 and above the 1.9 million sold in the whole of that year.
Sources: Reuters; ANE staff contributed to this report