Tokyo: Suzuki Motor Corp, Japan’s No.4 automaker, posted a 31% rise in quarterly profit on Monday on brisk sales in Asia, but stuck to its conservative forecasts as competition intensifies in its key Indian market.
Suzuki has enjoyed robust earnings growth compared with most domestic rivals thanks to its limited exposure to the stronger yen and heavy weighting in India, where majority-held unit Maruti Suzuki India Ltd sells every other car.
But falling margins in India due to rising raw materials prices and a slowdown in the country’s car market have weighed on Suzuki’s shares, which have been the worst performer among Japanese auto stocks in the past three months.
In the October-December third quarter, Suzuki’s operating profit jumped 31% to ¥23.64 billion ($287.7 million), in line with an average estimate of ¥24 billion in a survey of four analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For the full year to 31 March, the maker of the SX-4, Swift and other compact cars kept its operating profit forecast at 100 billion yen. A survey of 21 analysts puts the profit at 115.8 billion yen, up 46% from last year.
Shares in Suzuki have fallen 3% in the past three months, while all other Japanese automakers have gained, mainly on the bright outlook in the recovering US market. Tokyo’s transport sector subindex rose 21% in the same period.