<p>Pune-based Bajaj Auto Ltd, India’s second-biggest two-wheeler company, reported a 45 per cent fall in its stand-alone net profit at Rs 772 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared to Rs 1,400 crore in the same quarter last year.
Financials were not purely comparable because of an exceptional item of Rs 826 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year, which boosted the company’s net profit. Profit after tax before exceptional items grew 12 per cent to Rs 759 crore from Rs 676 crore in the same quarter last year, Bajaj Auto said in a statement.
The company maintained its industry-leading profit margins during the quarter due to an increase in exports and stable raw material prices.
“Exports now account for 36 per cent of our overall volumes. Revenues from sales in overseas markets have gone up 40 per cent during the quarter. We would continue our efforts to step up presence overseas and gain a larger share of the motorcycle market globally,” said Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto.
However, the company missed the street expectations by a small margin, as brokerages tracking the company were expecting net profit to be in the range of Rs 785-792 crore. Subdued growth in the domestic market impacted Bajaj Auto’s overall sales volume, which settled at 1,017,167 units, a growth of seven per cent over 948,198 units sold in the same period last year.
The company said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) stood at 20.7 percent in the March quarter. Ebitda stood at Rs 972 crore for the quarter.
Motorcycle sales in the domestic market during the quarter remained flat at 616,516 units, as against 617,255 units sold in the same quarter last year. Net sales of the company grew to Rs 4,515 crore during the quarter, an increase of 12 per cent over Rs 4,030 crore in the corresponding period last year.
The company said new launches such as the Pulsar 200NS and the Discover 125 ST scheduled to go on sale in the coming months will shore up volumes for the company. The Pulsar 200NS, which will be priced a shade under Rs 1 lakh, could see volumes of 10,000-15,000 units every month. The company intends to start exports of these bikes in August. It also expects to launch the indigenously developed four-wheeler, RE 60, by year-end. The vehicle will be produced at the company’s Aurangabad plant.
During the period, the company received a show cause notice of Rs 77.93 crore from the commissioner, Central Excise & Service Tax, LTU Mumbai for payment of National Calamity Contingent Duty on sale of vehicles from its Pantanagar plant. It has filed a writ petition in the Uttarakhand High Court.