New Delhi: Hero Honda’s earnings have zoomed ahead. Its net profits for the first quarter shot up by 83% to Rs500 crore. About 40% of Hero Honda’s sales were from rural areas. The company’s market share also rose to nearly 60%. Hero Honda remains India’s largest two-wheeler company.
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Punjab National Bank reported a net profit of Rs832 crore for the first quarter, a 62% increase over the same period last year.
Tata Steel has performed worse than expected in the first quarter. Its net profit has fallen by 47% to Rs790 crore. This does not include income from Tata Steel’s British unit Corus Group. Steel companies have been hit by a fall in commodity prices triggered by the global economic downturn.
Profits of United Breweries fell dramatically in the first quarter. Net profits plummeted 87% to just over Rs1 crore.
India’s software industry was in for some bad news on Wednesday. Industry body Nasscom said the country’s software and services exports would rise between 4-7% this financial year to around $48-50 billion. This is a sharp fall from last year, when the exports grew by 16%. The drop in earnings is largely because of the economic downturn in the US, which accounts for more than half the revenues of India’s outsourcing industry.
State-owned electricity transmission company PGCIL is in talks with an American company to jointly bid for a large contract. The bid is for a 500 kilometer long electricity transmission link in the US. PGCIL has been trying to establish a presence in other countries by operating transmission networks in them.
A wave of sell-offs in Chinese markets sent markets in India falling. On Wednesday, the sensex went down 158 points to close at 15,173, while the Nifty fell 51 points to close at 4,514.
The Indian government may be resisting international pressure to impose a carbon tax, but the finance ministry is recommending just such a tax for companies with high emission levels. A new paper from the ministry says companies with high carbon emissions should be penalized while companies with energy savings should be rewarded. The report also recommends carbon bonds that companies with low emissions can cash and a carbon fund to help companies set up green technologies.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended his foreign policy in parliament on Wednesday. His government has been under attack from opposition members, who say a joint statement signed with Pakistan compromised India’s national interests. But Singh told Parliament that India had not diluted its stance on terrorism. He also stressed the mention of the Pakistani province of Balochistan was not an admission that India was creating unrest there.
Singh also referred to the Mumbai attacks last year, and pointed out that Pakistan had, for the first time, admitted that its nationals carried out a terrorist attack in India.