VinFast quarterly revenue surges in first report since stellar debut

(Reuters) -Vietnamese electric-vehicle maker VinFast said on Thursday its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter on higher deliveries to domestic customers, in its first results since making a blockbuster debut last month.

The loss-making startup garnered a valuation of about $85 billion – higher than that of U.S. automakers Ford and General Motors – on its Nasdaq debut, raising the stakes for the company to show growth overseas.

The company’s shares were down about 1% in early trading before the bell. They have lost about 54% of their value since the start of trading on Aug. 15 following the merger with a blank-check company.

So far, much of the revenue surge has been driven by EV sales to units of parent company Vingroup, mainly to Green and Smart Mobility.

U.S. deliveries have remained low after a bleak launch into the market.

In May, VinFast recalled the first batch of vehicles shipped to U.S. customers last year following a safety warning issued by authorities.

“U.S. sales aren’t expected to improve any time soon. The reputational issues caused by the launch of the VF8 will not be solved by the VF9,” said Third Bridge analyst David Byrne.

VinFast, which only sells the VF8 SUV in the U.S., shipped about 2,100 EVs earlier this year to the country.

Net loss narrowed to 12.54 trillion Vietnamese dong in the second quarter ended June 30, from 13.65 trillion Vietnamese dong a year earlier.

VinFast is expected to be profitable in a “couple of years”, CEO Thuy Le told analysts on an earnings call.

Pham Nhat Vuong, the company’s chairman and Vietnam’s richest man, had earlier said he expects the company to break even next year.

The company reported a 131.2% jump in revenue to 7.95 trillion Vietnamese dong ($327 million).

($1 = 24,310.0000 dong)

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru and Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)