The head of AvtoVAZ, Russia’s biggest carmaker, has said flat net profit is expected for 2011, the first time an earnings outlook for the year has been provided.

Igor Komarov told reporters the net profit for this year is seen at between RUB3.5bn (US$123.5m) and RUB3.6bn to Russian Accounting Standards, after the carmaker swung to a RUB3.6bn 2010 profit.

“We expect at least the same profit to international standards,” he said.

AvtoVAZ, 25% owned by Renault, has been the chief beneficiary of a government programme that rewards buyers with a RUB50,000 ($1,788) trade-in on new models.