SAIC Profit Misses Estimates as GM’s Chinese Earnings Stall

SAIC Motor Corp., China’s largest automaker, reported full-year profit that missed analysts’ estimates after earnings growth stalled at its venture with General Motors Co.

Net income increased 2.6 percent to 20.8 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) last year, Shanghai-based SAIC, which has joint ventures with GM and Volkswagen AG, said in a statement today. That missed the 22 billion yuan average of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales gained 10 percent to 478.4 billion yuan, also missing estimates.

GM, the biggest foreign automaker in China, saw profit in the country fall 0.2 percent in 2012, after 14 percent growth the previous year, as the economy grew at the slowest pace in 13 years. That overshadowed higher earnings from SAIC’s venture with Volkswagen.

SAIC forecast revenue will increase 2.4 percent, the slowest expansion in five years, to 490 billion yuan in 2013 and for deliveries to rise 9.1 percent to 4.9 million units.

GM brands such as Cadillac and Chevrolet underperformed the broader Chinese passenger-vehicle market, which grew 7.1 percent last year.

By contrast, Volkswagen’s sales increased 25 percent in the market last year as it benefited from new models and a backlash against Japanese brands following a territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea.

SAIC gained 2.1 percent to 15.23 yuan at the end of trading in Shanghai today, before earnings were released, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.8 percent. The stock has fallen 14 percent this year.