India's top vehicle maker Tata Motors (IW 1000/185) reported on May 29 a doubling in quarterly profit from a year ago, led by strong demand for British brands Jaguar and Land Rover which offset weak domestic sales.
Tata Motors, part of the tea-to-steel Tata group conglomerate, said net profit for the three months to March was 62.34 billion rupees (US$1.13 billion), up from 26.38 billion rupees in the same period the previous year.
Revenues soared 44.3% to 509 billion rupees.
Net revenue for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands climbed 51% to 4.14 billion pounds (US$6.5 billion) and net profit jumped to 696 million pounds (US$1.1 billion).
Jaguar and Land Rover sold 98,021 units in the last quarter, a jump of 48% from levels a year earlier.
For the full year Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) sold a record 314,433 units, a growth of 29%, which was "supported by new products and strong demand in China and other developing markets," a company statement said.
China contributed 17.3% to JLR's annual global sales.
JLR chief executive Ralf Speth said demand in Europe remained uncertain. "There is strong global demand for JLR products but in Europe, nobody knows how deep or long the problems could continue," he said.
Tata Motors has raised spending on JLR in the new financial year, which started April, to 2 billion pounds (US$3.1 billion) from the earlier planned 1.5 billion pounds to develop new models and for expansion, he said.
The earnings come at a time when new car sales in India are slowing -- after the government hiked taxes on vehicles and cars became costlier -- rising just 2.19% for the full year to March 31, according to industry data.
Ramakrishnan said slowing industrial growth, weak economic outlook and a rise in taxes could offset gains made from a moderation in interest rates.
Domestic sales of cars and sport-utility vehicles at Tata Motors grew 18 percent in the past quarter to 112,470 units.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012