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Profit At Warren Buffett-Backed EV Maker BYD Soared In First Quarter

BYD, the China-based vehicle and battery maker backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said today net profit in the first three months of 2022 soared by as much as 300% from a year earlier amid record sales of electric vehicles.

The company said in a stock market filing today net profit for the first quarter of 2022 would likely range between 650 million yuan, or $101 million, and 950 million yuan from 237.4 million yuan a year earlier.

“Despite the adverse impact of (the) macroeconomic downturn, the spread of the pandemic and other factors, the new energy vehicle market continued its momentum of rapid growth in general,” BYD said in a statement. (See statement here.)

For the first quarter of 2022, BYD sold 286,329 new energy vehicles, compared with 54,751 in the first three months of 2021, an increase of 423%, the company said earlier this month. BYD’s sales of new energy vehicles more than quadrupled in March from a year earlier to 104,878 compared with 24,218 a year earlier.

BYD, headquartered in Shenzhen across the border from Hong Kong, hasn’t been hit as hard this month by Shanghai’s dramatic Covid lockdowns as rival Tesla, which reportedly today began preparing to reopen its big plant in the city after pandemic precautions disrupted production. (See related Reuters post.)

Earlier this month, BYD domestic rivals XPeng – backed by Alibaba, NIO – backed by Tencent, and Li Auto all reported big increases in March and first-quarter deliveries in China, the world’s largest auto market and second-largest economy.

BYD’s overall business is more diversified than its rivals – it also makes handset components and photovoltaics. Among its customers are Dell, Apple, Xiaomi and Huawei.

BYD’s net profit in 2021 fell by 28% from a year earlier to 3.0 billion yuan, or $478 million, owing to a shift in its product mix. Overall, sales increased by 37.7% to 211.3 billion yuan. Auto revenue climbed by 33.8% to 109.6 billion yuan, whereas its mobile phone components, assembly service and other products grew by 44.1% to 85.5 billion yuan. About 30% of total revenue was from international markets in 2021, down from 38% in 2020.

Berkshire Hathaway holds 225 million shares, or a 7.7% stake, in BYD.

BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu is worth $20.1 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today.

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