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Zoomlion Product Return Rate Rises to 4.9% as China GDP Slows

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co., China’s second-largest construction equipment maker, accepted more product returns at the end of 2012 as some clients had difficulties making payments in a slowing economy.

The product return rate rose to 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Bloomberg calculations based on a company filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange yesterday. That compares to a return rate of 0.27 percent in the first quarter of last year. Zoomlion accepted 461 million yuan of returns in the fourth quarter, compared with sales of 9.42 billion yuan.

“In the second-half of 2012, given the continued downturn of the construction machinery industry, the operation rate of construction machineries substantially dropped and settlement by customers became more difficult,” the company said in a separate statement.

The full-year return rate was 1.79 percent, up from 0.8 percent in 2011, Zoomlion said. The company made the statement to clarify reports that questioned its sales figures, it said, without identifying the reports.

The company’s shares fell 1.2 percent to close at HK$5.07 in Hong Kong trading before the statement yesterday. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.3 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jasmine Wang in Hong Kong at Jwang513@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vipin V. Nair at vnair12@bloomberg.net

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