Mumbai: Bajaj Auto Ltd reported a net profit of Rs1.75 billion ($41 million) in its fiscal first quarter, beating estimates, as it rode sales of higher-margin motorbikes.
Bajaj Auto, which relisted in May following a restructuring which split the manufacturing and financial services businesses into separate firms, said net sales were Rs23.11 billion.
That compared with a Reuters poll forecast of a net profit of Rs1.66 billion on sales of Rs23 billion.
Bajaj, which trails leader Hero Honda Motors, sold 620,095 motorbikes, scooters and motorised three-wheeler rickshaws in the June quarter, an increase of 8.5% over the same period in the previous year.
Bajaj, a unit of Bajaj Holdings & Investment, is building a 100,000-rupee car in a venture with Renault and Nissan Motor to take on Tata Motors’ similarly priced Nano, which goes on sale later this year.
Bajaj, which has said it expected motorbike sales to be flat in 2008-09, is scheduled to launch four new 125 cc motorbikes, as it seeks to shift consumers away from the low-margin 100 cc segment to more profitable premium vehicles.
High prices of steel, rubber, oil and other raw materials have hit margins of vehicle makers, while firm interest rates have bumped up loan rates by 200-300 basis points and hit demand.