Russia’s AvtoVAZ 2011 profit double to 6.7 billion roubles image

AvtoVAZ, one of the largest carmakers in Russia on Friday said its net profit more than doubled in 2011 to 6.7 billion roubles ($215.75 million).

AvtoVAZ is 25% owned by Renault-Nissan, which is moving closer to gaining control of Russia’s largest car maker. The move by Renault Nissan to control Russian auto group Avtovaz, costing 750 million dollars, highlights the importance of the Russian market, the third biggest for the three manufacturers, after China and the United States.

The companies hope to sign a definitive deal by year-end, with the transaction expected to be completed by 2014, by which time the venture would buy the entire Avtovaz stake held by Troika Dialog, a Russian investment company.

Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold 878,990 cars in Russia in 2011 and maintains a market share of about 33%. From January to April, 2012 the percentage sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia increased by 18% in comparison to the same period in 2011 or by 135,066 more sold units.

Russia is on track to become Europe’s biggest car market by the middle of the decade as rising incomes and a surge in consumer spending drive consumers toward showrooms.