Suzuki Apr-Sept profits jump on India

Suzuki Apr-Sept profits jump on India

Tokyo: Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp said on Tuesday its April-September operating profit more than doubled as healthy sales in India made up for its stagnant motorcycle business and a stronger yen, and it lifted its annual guidance as expected.

Suzuki, best known for its compact cars such as the Swift and Alto, has held on to its dominant position in the fast-growing Indian market, losing little share despite stiffer competition from rivals such as Hyundai Motor Co, Tata Motors Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp.

Suzuki, held one-fifth by Volkswagen AG, made an operating profit of 68.8 billion yen in the fiscal first half, up from ¥31.8 billion a year earlier.

Net profit rose 143% to ¥30.4 billion.

For the year to 31 March, 2011, Suzuki raised its full-year operating profit to ¥100 billion from ¥80 billion. Consensus forecasts are for a profit of ¥105 billion, according to a poll of 20 analysts by Thomson Reuters.

Its local unit, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, on Saturday met market expectations with a 5% rise in third-quarter net profit.

But the company, which sells every second car in India, warned of concerns over raw materials costs and currency volatility in the months ahead, while supply constraints are expected to hold back growth until more capacity becomes available more than a year from now.

Suzuki’s shares have risen 7% in the past three months, better than Tokyo’s transport sector subindex’s slight fall.

The shares rose 1.1% on Tuesday before the results were announced.