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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Hero Honda's results in high gear
Hero Honda advertisement
Indian's prefer motorcycles over scooters
India's largest motorcycle maker, Hero Honda, has reported a 90% jump in net profit.

Hero Honda said it made a profit of 4.6bn rupees (65.6m) after selling 1.4 million motorcycles in the year to March, taking almost half of the world's second-largest motorcycle market after China.

But the Delhi-based motorbike maker, part-owned by Japan's Honda Motor, forecast sales growth would slow in the coming year.

"The results are fantastic," said Pramod Amthe, an analyst at Cholamandalam Securities.

Shares surged 8.1% to 386 rupees, taking total gains since of the start of 2002 to 54%.

Two-wheeler boom

"We have raised our bar to 1.8 million motorcycles for the current year," said Pawan Kant Munjal, who has just been appointed managing director.

He is the son of company chairman Brijmohan Lall Munjal, whose family owns an equal stake to Honda.

Lower prices, higher rural incomes and cheaper credit have lifted Indian motorcycle sales.

Growing consumer demand for motorcycles over scooters, largely at the expense of Bajaj Auto, India's largest scooter maker, has also benefited Hero Honda.

Price cut

Hero Honda said it would cut 1,001 rupees off the price for all models to maintain its position as market leader.

The price cut could shave 1.8bn rupees from profit this year which it will claw back through cost cutting, the company said.

The company will also launch four new products in the next two years to add to its current seven-model line-up.

Pramod Amthe, Cholamandalam Securities
"People who are moving into motorcycles are those in their early twenties."
See also:

22 Mar 02 | Business
Japan to up Indian auto investment
05 Feb 02 | Business
Boost to India privatisation
24 Oct 01 | Business
Indian motorbike sales soar
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