Maruti Suzuki India quarterly profit rises as buyers return

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BENGALURU (Reuters) – Maruti Suzuki India Ltd reported a small rise in second-quarter profit on Thursday, as the lifting of coronavirus restrictions brought back customers to the carmaker’s showrooms and also eased supply chain disruptions.

The logo of Maruti Suzuki India Limited is seen on car parked outside a showroom in New Delhi, India, February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo

Maruti, which sells every second car in India, faces an uphill task to revive demand as the COVID-19 pandemic takes a heavy toll on automakers globally.

The crisis has worsened problems for Indian carmakers, who were already seeing weak demand and an inventory pile up before the pandemic struck.

India’s largest automaker by market capitalization reported a net profit of 13.72 billion rupees ($185.55 million) for the three months ended Sept. 30. The company posted a profit of 13.59 billion rupees a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected it to post a profit of 15.04 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv data.

The company in July reported its first quarterly loss since listing in 2003.

During the second quarter, the company’s performance improved on the back of some demand recovery and gradual improvement in supply conditions, the maker of the iconic Maruti 800 said here.

Maruti’s domestic unit sales rose 18.6% year-on-year to 370,619 vehicles. Revenue from operations rose more than 10% to 187.45 billion rupees.

The Indian festival season which culminates with Diwali in mid-November typically sees Indian households make big ticket purchases.

Passenger vehicle wholesale sales in September surged 26% from a year ago, data from a trade body showed, as dealerships stocked up ahead of the festival season.

Shares of Maruti, which have risen nearly 7% so far this month, fell as much as 2.8% after the results.

($1=73.9430 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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