Turkish automotive to financial services group Koc Holding said its net profit surged 725% to 382.1 trillion lira ($US292.3 million) in 2003, due to a strong performance by non-financial activities.

Net profit stood at 46.3 trillion the previous year and consolidated sales rose 20% to 15,500 trillion lira ($11.9 billion) last year, a Reuters report said.

Non-financial sales at the group, which makes cars, commercial vehicles and automotive components and is involved in retailing, tourism, durable goods, construction and energy, surged 33.5% to 14,110 trillion lira as a result of growing domestic demand and increased exports.

HSBC Investment analyst Cenk Orcan told Reuters: “We expect Koc Holding to achieve strong growth and profitability again this year because of the continuing lively demand in domestic automotive and consumer durable sectors and the export drive among leading group companies.”

According to the report, automotive sector sales jumped 58% to 3,820 trillion lira, consumer durables rose 7% to 4,400 trillion lira, food and retail sales climbed 8% to 2,240 trillion and energy sales surged 79% to 3,290 trillion while the automotive arm achieved an operating profit of 221.2 trillion lira in 2003, compared with a loss of 84.4 trillion the previous year.