Chinese automaker Geely doubles profit on next-gen car sales boost

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FILE PHOTO: Employees work along a Geely Automobile Corporation assembly line in Cixi, Zhejiang province June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2017)

China's Geely Automobile Holding Ltd <0175.HK>, whose unlisted parent owns Sweden's Volvo, on Wednesday said net profit more than doubled in 2016, the biggest rise in eight years as sales of its next-generation of vehicles outstripped expectations.

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The Hangzhou-based automaker said in a stock exchange filing that net profit for 2016 rose 126 percent to 5.1 billion yuan ($741.15 million), beating consensus expectations of 4.6 billion yuan in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Geely's revenue rose 78 percent to 53.7 billion yuan from a year earlier. It previously reported sales increased 49 percent to 765,851 vehicles for the year.

Geely has transformed itself from a no-frills domestic brand into an automaker with upmarket aspirations, using its 2010 acquisition of Volvo to up its game with models such as the recently launched GC9 sedan and Boyue sport-utility vehicle.

Geely will launch the first cars on a jointly-developed platform with Volvo under new brand name Lynk & Co later this year with plans for the marque to go on sale in Europe next year and the U.S. in 2019.

(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Christopher Cushing)