Tata Motors posts first profit gain in a year on Jaguar Land Rover sales

Fri Nov 8, 2013 6:42am EST
 
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By Aradhana Aravindan

(Reuters) - Tata Motors Ltd (TAMO.NS: Quote), India's biggest automaker by revenue, beat analyst estimates with its first quarterly profit gain in a year as buoyant sales at luxury unit Jaguar Land Rover Ltd TAMOJL.UL got a lift from new models.

Tata Motors, part of the $100 billion Tata conglomerate, has become dependent on its U.K. unit to prop up profits. At home, passenger and commercial vehicle sales have suffered from an environment of high interest rates and fuel prices in an economy growing at its slowest pace in a decade.

Sales of Tata's Nano, dubbed the world's cheapest car, are well below expectations and there has not been an all-new Tata-branded passenger vehicle since 2010.

JLR, on the other hand, has been riding on resilient demand for its Jaguar XF and XJ saloons and Range Rover sport-utility vehicles, especially in China.

Net profit surged 71 percent to 35.42 billion rupees ($566 million) in the fiscal second quarter ended September 30 from 20.75 billion rupees a year earlier, Tata said on Friday. Revenue rose 31 percent to 568.82 billion rupees.

The mean estimates of 10 analysts were profit of 25.49 billion rupees and revenue of 539.8 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Growth came "despite weak operating environment in the India business which was more than offset by increase in wholesale volumes and richer product and market mix at Jaguar Land Rover," Tata said in a statement.

Shares of Tata, worth $18.23 billion, closed up 1.1 percent before the results whereas the benchmark index .BSESN ended down 0.8 percent.   Continued...

 
Showroom attendants polish a vehicle under a Jaguar logo at a Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Mumbai February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash