The Chinese manufacturer of phone components, automobiles and batteries – BYD – of which Berkshire Hathaway owns 10%, mentioned last week that the company profit has quadrupled to $18.1 million, or 112.4 million yuan. This happened within the first three months of 2013. Sales have begun to recover after last year’s major decline.
The company’s revenue rose to 12.9 billion yuan during the first quarter. Just one year ago, the Shenzhen and Hong Kong listed company’s revenue was only at 11.7 billion yuan. During the first-quarter of 2012, the company’s net profit was only 27 million yuan.
Throughout last year, BYD’s profits plunged and dropped about 94% due to slow growth in the auto industry. The company also saw bad publicity when one of its cars caught on fire amidst a collision.
Last month, the company predicted that the first-quarter profits of 2013 would rise by about 418% from the previous year.
Wang Chuan-fu, the company’s chairman, sat upon the Forbes China Rich list as the richest man in 2009. At the time, he was worth $5.8 billion. On the Forbes 2013 billionaires list, Wang ranked number 641. He’s currently worth $2.3 billion.
In 2008, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway bought close to a 10% stake in BYD.