SOURCE: China Auto Logistics Inc.

China Auto Logistics Inc.

November 16, 2009 08:28 ET

China Auto Logistics Inc. Third Quarter Net Income Rose 33.5% Led by 131% Increase in High Margin Web-Based Advertising Services Revenue

Company Plans to Expand Domestic Automobile-Related Websites From 15 Cities to 35 in 2010; Financing Services for Domestic Auto Dealers and Consumers Continue to Grow; Imported Luxury Auto Sales Leadership Has Been Maintained With Higher End Focus; Investor Conference Call Scheduled for Tues., Nov. 17, 2009 at 8:00am ET

TIANJIN, CHINA--(Marketwire - November 16, 2009) - With its domestic auto related websites now strategically located in 15 cities across China well ahead of schedule and www.at160.com becoming one of the most viewed websites by auto dealers and customers in China seeking to purchase domestic autos, China Auto Logistics Inc. ("CALI") (NASDAQ: CALI) today reported that a 131% increase in third quarter web-based revenues fueled a 33.5% advance in its 2009 third quarter net income.

Mr. Tong Shiping, Chairman and CEO of the Company, stated, "It is extremely gratifying to see our strategic decision to transform the Company from an imported automobile trader to a leader in web-based automobile related services develop as well as it has at such an early stage of implementation."

Mr. Tong cited, in particular, the 56% contribution to third quarter operating income achieved by the Company's automobile related Web-based, Financing and Automobile Import Value Added Services. He noted this occurred even as imported auto sales advanced more than 8% in the period, despite year earlier negative industry projections, and continued to be the primary component of the Company's revenues.

"Further," Mr. Tong said, "contributions to profits from our website growth thus far have come from just a few of our sites with the others just beginning to move into profitability. Additionally, related web-based services such as domestic automobile consumer and dealer financing--which we believe will soon account for 50% of website revenues--have been only recently implemented, mainly in Beijing. Our growth prospects following this very strong start really are quite exciting."

Financial Results

In its third quarter ended September 30, 2009, the Company reported revenues grew to $52,850,051, a 9.24% increase over revenues of $48,378,898 in the same period last year. Net income attributable to the Company in the 2009 third quarter was $1,607,646 as compared with $1,204,433, a 33.48% gain over the year earlier quarter.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2009, revenues reached $143,092,778, a 10.52% advance from revenues of $129,475,982 reported by the Company in the same period last year. Net income attributable to the Company in the first nine months of 2009 was $4,094,056, a 21.90% increase compared with $3,356,435 in the first nine months of 2008.

Per share figures for the quarter and the nine months are based on 18.1 million weighted average shares outstanding in 2009 and 11.7 million shares in the prior year periods, with the latter reflecting the timing of the Company's reverse merger in November 2008. As reported on this basis third quarter EPS in 2009 was $0.09 compared with $0.10 in last year's third quarter, and EPS for the first nine months of 2009 was $0.23 compared with $0.29 in the year earlier period. If 2008 EPS were based on 18.1 million shares in both periods, EPS comparisons for the third quarter would be $0.09 per share in 2009 compared with $0.067 in 2008, and for the nine months ended September 30, 2009, $0.23 per share compared with $0.186 per share in the year earlier period.

The Company also noted that reported results reflect its ownership of 98% of each of its three subsidiaries effective from July 2009. Prior to this, the Company owned a smaller percentage of each subsidiary.

Imported Auto Sales

The Company said the contribution to revenues from Imported Auto Sales in the third quarter of 2009 was $47.6 million, an 8.02% increase over the prior year period despite negative industry projections for imported auto sales earlier in the year. This gain reflected the sale of 697 autos in the 2009 quarter compared with 682 a year earlier, and a 5.7% increase in the average selling price to $73,736. The increased average selling price reflects the Company's decision to deemphasize unit sales of imported autos and to focus instead on marketing higher end luxury vehicles and on margin improvement.

Through the first nine months of the year the Company reported that imported auto sales increased nearly 10% compared to the same period last year. As previously outlined to shareholders, pursuant to its growth strategy, the Company anticipates that the rate of growth in its auto sales will decline, but it does not foresee its position as the leading imported automobile trader in Tianjin changing in the near future.

Web-based Advertising Services

In a period when domestic automobile sales in China were extremely robust, in large measure due to government stimulation especially for smaller engine vehicles, revenues generated by the Company's very profitable automobile related website increased 130.95% in the 2009 third quarter to $957,488. Its imported auto site www.at188.com had over 160 subscribers at the end of the period and was still the only website in China aimed at dealers in and purchasers of imported autos. Over the past several months, the Company also continued to expand its domestic auto related sites. As of the end of the quarter they were established well ahead of schedule in a total of 15 cities where the sites are accessible via the Company's national domestic auto website, www.at160.com . To date, nearly all of the revenue derived from these sites is from subscription fees from auto dealers (4S shops in China) and advertisements from dealers and other service providers such as banks. Going forward, however, the Company anticipates 50% of revenues will be from this source and 50% will be from services sold over the Internet such as consumer financing and insurance that are now in the earliest stage of development, having been introduced in Beijing in late summer. The profitability of the sites is reflected in their approximately 37% contribution to operating income in the period.

Through the first nine months of 2009 website revenues increased nearly 79% to $2,307,845, compared with the same period last year, and contributed approximately 33% of the Company's operating income in the 2009 period

Other Services

In the three months ended September 30, 2009, revenues from Financing Services grew 25.53% to $342,640, almost entirely related to imported auto dealer financing. The Company maintained approximately $35 million in facility lines of credit as of the end of the quarter and strong relationships with major commercial banks to support this service. During the quarter the Company also initiated domestic auto related on-line financing services in Beijing largely connected to its marketing efforts in the city's largest auto mall. It recently reported a strong upward trend in this on-line service, as well as growing dealer financing in the form of 30-day bridge loans to 4S shops. It sees strong growth and profit potential for these financing services following the model being established in Beijing. Through the first nine months of 2009 revenues from financing services were $960,407, up 21.5% compared with the same period last year.

For the first nine months of 2009, the Company reported a smaller contribution from Automobile Import Value Added Services of $480,180, down 23% due to a decline in the market. In the 2009 third quarter, however, revenues increased about 40% to $155,900 compared with a weaker third quarter last year impacted by the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Outlook

"We have embarked on a very exciting new growth course," stated Mr. Tong, "with an emphasis on bottom line growth and are very confident of continuing success. Our presently unique approach of combining on-line services with website development in the still relatively immature Chinese auto industry is still in its earliest growth phase. Thus far, our sites and services are being warmly welcomed by dealers and their customers throughout the country."

"Going forward," he added, "our announced plan is to establish sites in 60 cities before 2012 reaching at least 70% of the Chinese car buying public. Near term, our plan is to complete an additional 20 sites in 2010, emanating from four key hub cities where we are now established. At the same time, we will continue to expand our web-based services -- financing and insurance, in particular -- and more firmly establish our leadership in these areas."

Investor Conference Call

The conference call will be held on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:00am ET.

Interested participants should call 1-877-941-1430 at least five minutes before the call is to begin when calling within the United States or 1-480-629-9667 when calling internationally. Please ask for the China Auto Logistics Third Quarter Earnings Call, Pass Code 4182541. A telephone replay will also be available for one week and can be accessed by dialing 1-800-406-7325 or 1-303-590-3030 for international callers and entering Replay Pin Number: 4182541.

This call is being webcast by ViaVid Broadcasting and can be accessed by clicking on this link http://viavid.net/dce.aspx?sid=00006CFA or at ViaVid's website at www.viavid.net. The webcast can be accessed through November 17, 2009.

Description of China Auto Logistics Inc.

With 2008 sales of approximately $190 million, China Auto Logistics Inc. (NASDAQ: CALI) is one of China's top sellers of luxury imported cars as well as one of the country's leading developers of websites for buyers and sellers of imported and domestic automobiles. It is also China's leading "one stop" provider of logistical services and financing to imported car dealers nationwide. The Company has made the strategic decision to de-emphasize imported auto unit sales in favor of expanding its new, highly profitable domestic auto websites which are accessible through its national website, www.at160.com, launched in May 2009. Its subscription and advertising based www.at188.com is the number one site for imported car dealers and consumers. Already contributing significantly to profits, the Company believes further expansion of its websites, including the addition of new web-based auto-related services, will drive future growth. For additional information: www.chinaautologisticsinc.com.

Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause our actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, product demand, market competition, and risks inherent in our operations. These and other risks are described in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (UNAUDITED)

                      Three Months Ended         Nine Months Ended
                        September 30,              September 30,
                  --------------------------  ----------------------------
                      2009          2008          2009           2008
                  ------------  ------------  -------------  -------------
Net revenue       $ 52,850,051  $ 48,378,898  $ 143,092,778  $ 129,475,982
Cost of revenue     50,070,349    46,054,946    135,484,452    123,051,216
                  ------------  ------------  -------------  -------------
  Gross profit       2,779,702     2,323,952      7,608,326      6,424,766
                  ------------  ------------  -------------  -------------

Operating
 expenses:
  Sales and
   marketing           200,917       232,664        565,870        677,963
  General and
   administrative      302,903       300,901        917,193        788,511
                  ------------  ------------  -------------  -------------
  Total operating
   expenses            503,820       533,565      1,483,063      1,466,474
                  ------------  ------------  -------------  -------------

Income from
 operations          2,275,882     1,790,387      6,125,263      4,958,292

Other income
 (expenses):
  Interest income        4,824        23,846          8,585         81,938
  Interest
   expense             (45,690)      (67,635)      (152,107)      (197,004)
                  ------------  ------------  -------------  -------------

Income before
 provision for
 income taxes        2,235,016     1,746,598      5,981,741      4,843,226

Provision for
 income taxes          573,941       437,636      1,572,244      1,148,987
                  ------------  ------------  -------------  -------------

Net income           1,661,075     1,308,962      4,409,497      3,694,239

Less: Net income
 attributable to
 the noncontrolling
 interests              53,429       104,529        315,441        335,804
                  ------------  ------------  -------------  -------------

Net income
 attributable to
 China Auto
 Logistics Inc.   $  1,607,646  $  1,204,433  $   4,094,056  $   3,358,435
                  ============  ============  =============  =============

Earnings per
 share
 attributable to
 China Auto
 Logistics Inc.'s
 common
 shareholders
  Earnings per
   share - basic
   and diluted    $       0.09  $       0.10  $        0.23  $        0.29
                  ============  ============  =============  =============

  Weighted
   average number
   of shares
   outstanding -
   basic and
   diluted          18,100,000    11,700,000     18,100,000     11,700,000
                  ============  ============  =============  =============

Contact Information

  • Contacts:

    China Auto Logistics Inc.
    US Investors
    Focus Asia Partners
    Robert Agriogianis
    Tel: 973-845-6642

    Press
    Ken Donenfeld
    donfgroup@aol.com
    Tel: 212-425-5700
    Fax: 646-381-9727