Bajaj Auto Ltd’s net profit for the June quarter rose 2.1%, roughly in line with analysts’ estimates, but the company said exports were weak and that it faced input cost pressures.
Net profit at the maker of Pulsar and Avenger bikes increased to Rs.978 crore in three months ended 30 June from Rs.957 crore a year ago, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Net revenue rose by 3.5% to Rs.6,088 crore over Rs.5,881.24 crore last year.
A Bloomberg survey of analysts had estimated net profit of Rs.955.8 crore and net revenue of Rs.5,950.1 crore.
Overseas shipment of motorcycles and three-wheelers fell 22% to 370,649 units in the June quarter from the year-ago period. The firm attributed it to shortage of foreign currency and depreciation of the local currency in its key export markets like Nigeria and Egypt.
Sales of motorcycles in India rose 13% to 548,880 units in the three-month period, helped by new launches such as the new Avenger series and Bajaj V. The company’s three-wheeler sales also rose 48% to 75,204 units.
“It was a weak quarter as the exports remained sluggish. But we continue to remain positive as we believe exports are likely to improve sequentially and domestic business is in the midst of a strong product cycle,” Nitesh Sharma, analyst at Phillip Capital India Pvt Ltd.
S. Ravikumar, president, business development and assurance, at Bajaj Auto said even as currency volatility and a shortage of dollars continue to impact Bajaj Auto’s key export destinations, the company is not paring the earlier export guidance of 1.6 million units of the exports for the full year that ends in March 2017.
“Volumes have started picking up month-on-month, and we hope it will improve further,” Ravikumar said, but he remained non-committal on the time frame within which the company will be able to reach the earlier peak of 160,000 units a month.
To be sure, robust volume in the domestic market coupled with a better sales mix—a higher contribution of pricier motorcycles and three-wheelers in the overall sales—helped offset the decline in exports and sustain operating margins, which rose to 21.2% from 21.1% in the year-ago quarter. During the quarter, company’s average sales price of motorcycles and three- wheelers rose to Rs.61,210 per unit from Rs.58,056 per unit in the same quarter a year ago. However, lower exports of bikes and three-wheelers dragged realization by 6% to Rs.57,825 per unit from Rs.61,490 per unit on sequential basis.
Bajaj Auto shares closed Rs.1.40 down at Rs.2,668.75 on BSE. The benchmark index Sensex ended the day 47.81 points higher at 28,024.33 points.