Top Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp said on Tuesday it expected to post more than a 300 percent rise in first-half net profit.

The company sold 1.77 million cars in the first half of this year, up more than 44 percent from a year ago, it said in a brief statement to the stock exchange.

SAIC Motor Corp earned 1.4 billion yuan ($206.5 million) in the first half of 2009.

The forecast first-half net profit is about 5.6 billion yuan based on a Reuters calculation.

Prior to the company's earnings forecast, 10 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S put SAIC Motor's full-year net profit at 9.9 billion yuan.

Shares of SAIC Motor have fallen 29 percent so far in 2010, compared with a 24 percent drop in the wider market .SSEC.

($1=6.778 Yuan) (Reporting by Ruby Lian and Soo Ai Peng; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)