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Maruti records its biggest fall in quarterly profit in over 8 years

Maruti records its biggest fall in quarterly profit in over 8 years
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The last time Maruti's profits dipped so much was in 2011-12

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The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) on Thursday reported its biggest drop in quarterly profit in over eight years, with consolidated net profit declining by 38.99 per cent in the quarter ending in September, reflecting the ongoing sales slowdown in the auto industry.

The company posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 1,391.1 crore in the second quarter as compared to Rs 2,280.2 crore in the year-ago period.

The last time the company saw a bigger decline in net profit was in the second quarter of 2011-12, when it posted a net profit of Rs 241 crore, down 56 per cent from Rs 549 crore in the year-ago period.

Revenue from operations in the second quarter stood at Rs 16,123.2 crore as against Rs 21,553.7 crore in the year-ago period, down 25.19 per cent.

Sales volume during the quarter under review stood at 3,38,317 as compared with the same period last fiscal, down 30.2 per cent.

Commenting on the financial performance, MSI Chairman RC Bhargava said: "The results of the second quarter and the first half of the fiscal are substantially lower than the last year. The sales have dropped 22 per cent (in Q2) as a result of that everything has dropped."

The auto industry has been badly affected by affordability issue as a result of cost escalation of vehicles on account of new safety and emission regulations besides hike in insurance and registration charges, he said.

"This got compounded by lower availability of finance for inventory and buying cars, along with increased down-payment requirement," he said adding banks were yet to fully transfer the benefit of repo rate cut by RBI to end consumers.

Bhargava said the weak demand has hurt the cars segment more with its share in total passenger vehicles sales coming down to 60 per cent as compared to 65 per cent in the year-ago period.

During the quarter under review, MSI said, it had offered an average discount of Rs 25,000 per car across models in comparison with Rs 18,000 in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

He, however, said that sales picked up in October, with the company offering "record discounts" that was more than what was offered in the second quarter.

"Thanks to the biggest promotions we ever had, sales in October will be comparable to sales in October last year," he said.

Bhargava, however, added, "That does not mean that we are out of the woods".

Recovery will depend on what happens in the next two months, he added.

When asked if the company was putting investments on hold, Bhargava replied in negative saying normal annual CAPEX of Rs 4,000-5,000 crore is continuing.

"We are quite confident of the future and we don't want to jeopardize our future by not preparing due to the current slowdown," he said.

Net profit for the first half of the fiscal ended September was at Rs 2,767.9 crore as against Rs 4,295.3 crore, down 35.55 per cent.

Revenue from operations in the first half stood at Rs 34,862 crore as compared to Rs 43,367.5 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal.

Sales volume in the April-September period stood at 7,40,911 units, down 24 per cent as against the same period of 2018-19.

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