Geely Automobile Holdings has reported that its first-half net profit was up 17% from a year earlier.

Net profit for the six months ended June 30 was reported as CNY937.6 million.

The result was lifted by higher sales. Geely said it sold 213,381 units in the first half – a 9% increase. First-half revenue rose 14% to CNY10.54bn.

Geely reported strong demand for its Emgrand EC7 model (which accounted for around a fifth of Geely’s total unit sales in the first half) in the domestic market as well as a rapid increase in export sales.

“The Group’s performance in the first half of 2011 was broadly in line with previous expectations despite uncertain macro-economic conditions in China during the period and the expiry of tax incentives for small-size vehicles at the end of 2010,” the company said in a statement.

The company aims to sell 480,000 cars this year (it sold 415,800 units in 2010). Geely is planning to export up to 50,000 cars in 2011, more than double the export volume of last year.