India's Tata Motors quarterly profit soars, beats forecasts
India's leading vehicle company, Tata Motors, said Tuesday its consolidated second-quarter net profit soared, beating analysts' forecasts, as demand for cars improved across its markets.
Tata Motors' net profit, including British motoring icons Jaguar and Land Rover, totalled 22.23 billion rupees (505 million dollars) for the three months to September, compared with 217.8 million rupees a year earlier.
Revenues rose 36 percent to 287 billion rupees for the second quarter of the financial year to March 2011, a company statement said.
Analysts had forecast Tata Motors to show a profit of 18 billion rupees.
Tata Motors produces utility vehicles, passenger cars including the world's cheapest Nano car and sells luxury brands like Jaguar and Land Rover.
Tata Motors, India's largest vehicle maker by revenues, bought Jaguar and Land Rover from US Ford Motor for 2.3 billion dollars in 2008. Sales of the luxury cars were hit by the global financial crisis, but have improved since.
"In the quarter we saw healthy volume growth in the Jaguar Land Rover business," the company said in a statement, with a net profit of 238 million pounds (383 million dollars) as demand for the luxury cars improved.
Tata Motors shares closed up 0.2 percent or 2.55 rupees at 1,270.55 at the Mumbai stock exchange, before its earnings were released.
Tata Motors, part of the tea-to-steel Tata Group, launched the world's cheapest small car, the Nano, in July 2009. About 70,000 have been sold so far.
India's automobile market has seen strong sales for several months, led by a recovery in demand, the launch of new models and a rise in rural income and consumer spending after a good monsoon this year.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, a leading industry body, has raised its forecast car sales growth this fiscal year to March 2011 to 18 to 20 percent from an earlier forecast of 13 to 15 percent.
© 2010 AFP