Geely posted first-half earnings that beat estimates, weathering a price war that continues to hit the industry.
Net income rose 1 percent to 1.57 billion yuan ($215 million) in the six months ended June 30, the company said in a statement Tuesday, beating analyst estimates of 1.51 billion yuan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Revenue climbed 26 percent to 73.18 billion yuan.
“The decline of the price of lithium carbonate in the first half of the year resulted in the decrease of battery prices, which exerted a positive influence on the cost control of new energy vehicles,” the company said in the earnings release.
“However, the group’s gross profit margin was still impacted by the new energy transformation and intensified competition in the automobile market,” it said.
The price war has forced most of the industry to slash prices on some models, and Geely’s gross margin remained at 14 percent, despite the growth in revenue and decline in battery raw material prices.
Investments in developing clean cars added to that, as Geely tries to speed up its transition to EVs to take on competitors such as Tesla and BYD, although the company has reined in some spending in this area compared to last year.
Total research and development costs fell 8 percent to 3 billion yuan.
Deliveries of the company’s battery EVs and plug-in hybrids increased 44 percent in the first half of the year, faster than the overall market which grew at 37 percent, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
The premium Zeekr range was a star performer, with sales climbing 124 percent in the first six months.
Despite the weak economy clouding the outlook for car sales for the rest of the year, Geely said it was still optimistic about achieving its sales target of 1.65 million units. It has delivered 694,045 vehicles as of the end of June.
Geely’s board said it decided not to pay an interim dividend.