New Delhi: Defying tough market conditions, country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Friday reported its highest ever quarterly profit at Rs 1,147.5 crore for the period ended March 31, up 79.4 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
The company had registered a net profit of Rs 639.8 crore during the corresponding period last year. Its profit becomes even bigger at Rs 1,239.6 crore when the numbers of the merged entity Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd (SPIL) are added.
The jump in net profit was driven by good sales of models like Ertiga, DZire and Swift, cost reduction and localisation effort and the benefit of a favourable exchange rate.
Net sales during the fourth quarter of the last fiscal went up by 9.4 percent to Rs 12,566.6 crore from Rs 11,486.4 crore in the year-ago period.
During January-March period, MSI sold a total of 3,43,709 vehicles, down 4.6 percent from 3,60,334 units in the same period last year.
"The increase in net profit during the quarter was due to many factors, which included higher realisation on sales of new models such as Ertiga, DZire and Swift, ongoing cost reduction and localisation efforts, and the benefit of a favourable exchange rate," MSI Chief Financial Officer Ajay Seth told reporters here.
Stating that this was the highest quarterly profit for MSI, he said the company had posted its previous best quarterly profit in third quarter of 2009-10, which was at Rs 688 crore.
Shares of MSI ended the day at Rs 1,673.45 per scrip, up 5.26 percent from the previous close on the BSE.
For the entire 2012-13 financial year, MSI posted a rise of 40.7 percent in its standalone net profit at Rs 2,300 crore as against Rs 1,635.1 crore in the previous fiscal, the statement said.
The company's standalone net sales went up by 21.4 percent to Rs 42,122.9 crore in FY'13 from Rs 34,705.9 crore in FY'12, it added.
Total vehicle sales of the company during last fiscal fell by 3.3 percent to 11,71,434 units from 11,33,695 units in 2011-12.
Commenting on the numbers, MSI's recently-retired Managing Director and CEO, Shinzo Nakanishi said: "The year 2012-13 was a challenging year for the entire auto industry due to a weak economy and poor consumer demand. However, we were able to improve our sales and also increase our market share in the passenger vehicles segment to 39.1 percent."
He said demand for small cars during the year went down due to the overall economic situation.
"The industry saw a decline of 13 percent in small cars sales, this was not a case of customers shifting to big cars. It is just that small car customers are have not buying while big car buyers continue to buy," Nakanishi added.
Commenting on the outlook for the ongoing fiscal, he said there were short term concerns but the company was bullish on the long term potential of the Indian market.
Kenichi Ayukawa, who took over as MSI's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer from April 1, said: "Maruti has been a market leader for the last 30 years and I would like it to continue and at the same time I would also like to write a new page in the history of the company."
Analysts said pointed out that MSI's revenue gained traction from better pricing and an improved product mix.
"Strong contribution from diesel vehicle sales also contributed to growth as well as profitability," Motilal Oswal Securities Vice President (Equities) Gautam Sinha Roy said.
At its meeting Friday, the Board of Directors of MSI recommended a dividend of 160 percent, which is Rs 8 per share of face value Rs 5 for 2012-13. The dividend in 2011-12 was at 150 percent.
"The total outgo from the company on account of the dividend payment will be Rs 288 crore," Seth said.
The board has also approved merging of seven subsidiaries of the company with itself and a cash of Rs 200 crore gets added to the books of MSI, he added.
In 2012-13, engine maker Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd (SPIL) was merged with MSI. After considering the performance of SPIL, MSI's net profit during the fourth quarter stood at Rs 1,239.6 crore, while the net sales were Rs 13,056.3 crore.
Likewise, MSI posted a standalone net profit of Rs 2,392.1 crore for 2012-13 and net sales of Rs 42,612.6 crore in the same fiscal after combining the figures of SPIL.
For the last fiscal, the consolidated net profit stood Rs 2,469.3 crore. MSI registered a consolidated net sales of Rs 43,215.8 crore.
First Published: Friday, April 26, 2013, 14:17