5/9/2008

Turkish auto manufacturer Tofas Q1 profit jumps on new Fiat models

Bloomberg - Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi AS's first-quarter profit more than doubled as the Turkish manufacturer started making new car and van models for partner Fiat SpA. Net income increased to $67 million, Istanbul-based Tofas said in a stock exchange filing overnight. Sales climbed 79 percent to 1.31 billion liras. The company started making Fiat Linea sedans and Minicargo vans last year at its plant in Bursa, Turkey, after investing about $1.6 billion since 2005 to increase capacity. The new models have helped Tofas almost double exports in the past year, while domestic sales rose because of cuts in interest rates. Exports increased to 895.4 million liras in the quarter from 469.1 million liras a year earlier, while Turkish revenue increased 54 percent to 381.6 million liras, Tofas said. Fiat, Italy's biggest manufacturer, owns almost 37.9 percent of Tofas. The Turkish company announced plans in February to spend a further 400 million euros ($619 million) by 2010 on expanding capacity.
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