Chinese EV maker BYD profit down 42% in 2019, under pressure from subsidy cut

BEIJING, April 21 (Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co Ltd,, which is backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett, on Tuesday reported a 41.9% drop in 2019 net profit as China’s EV subsidies cut hit customer demand.

BYD reported 1.61 billion yuan ($227 million) net profit in 2019, down from 2.78 billion yuan in 2018. Its revenue dropped 1.78% to 127.74 billion yuan last year, from 130.05 billion yuan a year earlier.

The Shenzhen-based car company, which has partnerships with Japan’s top automaker Toyota and German Daimler’s partner in China, sold 461,399 vehicles in 2019, 11.4% lower from a year earlier.

It said in a stock exchange filing that China’s subsidy cut on electric vehicles and emission rule changes caused the sales slide in the world’s biggest auto market.

In 2019, China’s overall auto market dropped 8.2% from a year earlier while sales for new energy vehicles, which include battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, fell 4%. ($1 = 7.0929 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; editing by David Evans)