Buffett-Backed BYD Releases Strong 2020 Financial Results as New Energy Vehicle Sales Hits Record High in China

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Chinese carmaker BYD unveiled its 2020 financial results on Monday with net profit jumping 162% year-on-year to 4.23 billion yuan ($643.72 million) thanks to a recovery of demand in the world’s largest automotive market.

The company – which is backed by billionaire Warren Buffett – reported 156.6 billion yuan ($23.83 billion) in revenue for 2020, an increase of 22.59% compared to the same period last year. Analysts estimate revenues to be 148.76 billion yuan ($22.64 billion), according to Reuters.

In 2020, the Shenzhen-based automaker produced 431,954 new vehicles, dropping 5.08% compared to last year. Its overall auto sales slid 3.62% to 394,608 units, while the sales of traditional fuel-burning vehicles increased 3.81% year-over-year to 231,715 units.

Founded in 1995 by Wang Chunfu, BYD is one of China’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturers. According to data by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, 2020 recorded an all-time high for new energy vehicle sales nationwide, which reached 1.37 million, a year-on-year increase of 10.9%.

SEE ALSO: 2020 China’s New Energy Vehicles Market: Revolutions and Opportunities

However, the company faces growing competition within the rapidly-growing sector as its competitors such as Tesla, XPeng, NIO and Li Auto are attempting to expand production considerably. In 2020, BYD saw its new energy vehicle sales decline by 12.52%.

The company launched its Han Model – which uses the company’s self-developed batteries – in July, and sold 40,556 units as of December 31. It also introduced its Song Plus, Tang, e2 and e3 models late last year.

The firm expects its net profit for the first three months this year to climb 77.57% to 166.36% year-on-year and reach somewhere between 200 million yuan ($30.44 million) to 300 million yuan ($45.65 million). The bounce would be fueled by high sales of its Han Model and the Chinese economy’s strong rebound after the pandemic shutdowns.

As the pandemic fuels the growth of the stay-at-home economy, BYD’s subsidiary BYD Electronic, which focuses on developing gaming hardware, robots, drones and smart home appliances connected through the internet, has seen a surge in its robot and gaming hardware sales. The automaker also pivoted to manufacturing face masks, becoming a major provider during the coronavirus outbreak. In May, it said its daily production had reached 50 million.

The firm’s Hong Kong-listed stock has fallen roughly 40% from its peak on January 25, after having quadrupled last year. In Shanghai, BYD’s shares increased 308% in the past year and have dropped 13% so far this year.