Turkish Fiat importer/assembler Tofas has booked a higher quarterly profit on a recovery in domestic demand, although profits lagged forecasts, with one analyst citing higher than expected expenses.

The firm said Q2 net profit was TRY73.2m (US$49m), up 8.2% year on year but below the TRY93m seen in a Reuters poll.

Sales climbed 6.4% to TRY1.573bn, matching the poll forecast. One analyst told the news agency the lower than expected profit might stem from higher than expected tax and financial expenses of TRY19m.

First half net profit surged 90.5% to TRY191.46m and sales rose 33% to TRY3.125bn.

Turkey's automotive sector, at the heart of its export industry - many Renaults and Toyotas sold in Europe are also assembled there - was hit by a sharp slowdown in key export markets and weak domestic demand in 2009, but rebounded this year.

Fiat Auto and Koc Holding , Turkey's biggest conglomerate, each own 38% of Tofas, whose manufacturing is based in the northwestern city of Bursa.