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Last Updated: Monday, 24 January, 2005, 18:30 GMT
India's Maruti sees profits jump
Cars in India
India's economic growth has been 6-8%, boosting demand for cars
India's biggest carmaker Maruti has reported a sharp increase in quarterly profit after a booming economy and low interest rates boosted demand.

Net profit surged 70% to 2.39bn rupees ($54.98m; 29.32m) in the last three months of 2004 compared with 1.41bn rupees a year earlier.

Total sales were 30.1bn rupees, up 27% from the same 2004 period.

Maruti accounts for half of India's domestic car sales, luring consumers with cheap, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Picking up speed

Demand in India also has been driven by the poor state of public transport and the very low level of car ownership, analysts said.

Maruti 800 car
India's burgeoning middle class are looking to buy consumer goods

Figures show that only eight people per thousand are car owners.

Maruti beat market expectations despite an increase in raw materials costs.

The company, majority-owned by Japan's Suzuki, said an increase in steel and other raw material prices was partially offset by cost cutting.

Sales in the fiscal third quarter, including vans and utility vehicles, rose by 17.8% to 136.069 units.

Maruti is not the only company benefiting as Indian's economic growth gives consumer greater spending power.

Utility vehicle and tractor maker Mahindra has reported a 52% rise in net profit during the last three months of 2004.

Profit was 1.33bn rupees compared with 874.2m rupees a year earlier.


SEE ALSO:
India's Maruti boosts production
23 Sep 04 |  Business
Maruti sees car sales rise by 30%
02 Feb 04 |  Business
Maruti meets profit forecast
31 Oct 03 |  Business
Maruti shares leap 31% on debut
09 Jul 03 |  Business
Suzuki set to increase output
22 Jan 03 |  Business


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