New Delhi: India's largest passenger car-maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd's fiscal fourth quarter (January-March) net profit slumped 3% on-year to Rs 6.4 billion on slower sales growth and weak rupee, but the fall was limited due to revival in demand in the automobile sector.
The company sold 360,334 vehicles in the fourth quarter, 4.9% more than 343,340 cars it sold in the same quarter previous fiscal 2010-11, Maruti Suzuki said in a statement Saturday.
"While adverse currency movements made a significant impact during the quarter, the company was able to largely offset it through localization and internal cost control," the statement said.
The company, however, beat street expectations due to revival in demand for its Swift hatchback and new compact Dzire.
The Indian auto industry has been witnessing a slowdown on account of rise in fuel prices, and high interest rates. But demand for cars increased in the January-March quarter as the demand for diesel cars surged, and the customers advanced their purchases to avoid the excise duty hike proposed by the government in Budget 2012-13.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier last month proposed to hike service tax and excise duty rates by 200 basis points each to 12% from 10%.
Maruti Suzuki posted a sales growth of 5%, 6.5% and 3% in January, February and March, respectively.
The revenue of the company rose 17.2% to Rs 114.86 billion in the quarter ended March 31, 2012, as against Rs 97.97 billion in the same quarter a year ago.
Weaker rupee has made import of raw materials expensive for vehicle manufacturers. The company also pays royalty to Japanese firm Suzuki Motor Corp for the patent (design) used by Maruti Suzuki (India) to manufacture cars, which dented its profitability.
The company's raw materials' cost increased by 18.38% to Rs 88.74 billion in the January-March quarter of 2011-12, as compared to Rs 74.96 billion in the same quarter of last fiscal.
Total expenditure of the auto giant rose 20.6% to Rs 112 billion in the fourth quarter from Rs 92.89 billion in the year-ago period.
Shares of Maruti Suzuki closed at Rs 1,397.10, up 1.29%, on the Bombay Stock Exchange today.