Great Wall 2012 Profit Surges to Record on Rising SUV Sales

Great Wall Motor Co., China’s biggest maker of SUVs and pickup trucks, reported profit surged to a record last year, helped by demand for its Haval vehicles.

Net income rose 66 percent to 5.69 billion yuan ($916 million), from 3.4 billion yuan, Great Wall, which disclosed preliminary earnings in January, said in a statement filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange today. Revenue rose 43 percent to 43 billion yuan.

SUV sales jumped 90 percent as the Baoding-based company led Chinese companies in the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s auto market last year. Great Wall also benefited after tensions flared over the ownership of a group of uninhabited islands -- known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China -- which drove down demand for Honda Motor Co.’s CRV and Toyota Motor Corp.’s RAV4 in China.

Great Wall, whose shares more than doubled last year, closed unchanged at HK$28.40 in Hong Kong before the earnings announcement.