Chinese EV giant BYD’s first-quarter profit jumps fivefold

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, April 27 (Reuters) – Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD Co. (002594.SZ) posted a fivefold jump in its first-quarter profit on Thursday as the company consolidated its leadership in the domestic market.

Net profit for the first three months of the year was 4.13 billion yuan ($596.56 million), up 410.9% from 808.41 million yuan a year earlier, on revenue up 79.8% at 120.17 billion yuan, the company said in a stock market filing.

The Shenzhen-based company, whose investors include Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N), outsold Volkswagen-branded (VOWG_p.DE) cars in the first quarter of this year in China, according to a Reuters analysis of data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Buoyed by its Dynasty and Ocean series of plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars, BYD sold 552,076 new energy vehicles in the first quarter, a surge of 92.81% year-on-year, according to the company.

The company sold more than 1.86 million vehicles in 2022, mostly in China.

BYD has joined many other Chinese brands in a price war started by Tesla (TSLA.O), with the offering of discounts for its Song Plus and Seal EVs in March.

The price cuts have eaten into automakers’ earnings, with Tesla reporting a 24% plunge in first-quarter net income.

Last week, BYD unveiled its Seagull electric hatchback at the Shanghai autoshow, stunning visitors with a price from just 78,000 yuan – around half the level of the cheapest new energy vehicles available elsewhere.

($1 = 6.9230 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Qiaoyi Li, Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh Editing by David Goodman