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Escorts net falls 75% on weak tractor sales

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Agriculture and construction-related products manufacturer on Thursday reported a 75 per cent fall in net profit at Rs 18.12 crore for the quarter ended March 31, against Rs 73.2 crore in the same quarter last year.

The agri machinery products division of the company, which generates nearly 90 per cent of its turnover, suffered during the quarter due to weak demand for tractors. Auto ancillary products and railway equipment make the balance of its portfolio. Net sales fell 11 per cent to Rs 791 crore from Rs 889 crore.

While its market share for the quarter in the tractor segment rose 11.9 per cent, sales dipped by 3.9 per cent on a sequential basis. The tractor industry continued to slide in the first four months of the 2012 calendar year. "The second half of the year is traditionally better for the industry and we are expanding our reach and product portfolio to enter new markets and new market segments. We are also looking forward to the completion of our merger process within the financial year, which would change the dynamics of the Escorts Group for its shareholders, customers and associates,” said Rajan Nanda, chairman and managing director.

A tax gain of Rs 33 crore was reported in the corresponding quarter of last year, which boosted its net profit. The same was realised at Rs 5.6 crore during the quarter.

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