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India's Tata Motors says quarterly net profit rose 12 per cent

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India's largest automobile manufacturer, Tata Motors Ltd., said Tuesday its net profit rose 12 per cent in the last quarter on strong local sales of trucks and buses in the most recent quarter.

Higher sales for the October-December quarter helped push Tata's net profit to 5.13 billion rupees (US$114 million), compared with 4.6 billion rupees ($102 million) in the same period last year.

The company's sales for the quarter rose to 69.56 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) helped by a 28 per cent jump in vehicle sales to 141,827 vehicles from 111,228 vehicles during the corresponding period a year earlier.

The growth was led by a 37.7 per cent surge in local sales of its trucks and buses. Tata Motors' sales of cars and utility vehicles grew 22 per cent to 52,991 units.

Tata Motors' executive director, Praveen Kadle, said the company was positive about the next quarter.

``We will continue to see growth in the fourth quarter,'' he told reporters in Mumbai, India's financial hub. ``We have ambitious plans in both the commercial vehicles and passenger car segments. Expansion plans are a continuous process.''

Shares of Tata Motors fell 63 cents, or 2.86 per cent, to $21.39 in mid-morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tata Motors is India's largest truck and bus maker.

The numbers released Monday conformed to Indian accounting standards. Numbers that meet U.S. accounting standards were not released.

The company was set up in 1954, and its cars, buses and trucks are marketed in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia.

Under a joint venture with Italian carmaker Fiat, the company will this year manufacture cars and engines for the Indian and overseas market. As part of another joint venture with Thailand's Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co., Tata Motors will make, assemble and sell pickup trucks in Thailand.

Tata Motors is part of the Tata group, one of India's leading business conglomerates with interests spanning steel, software services, hotels, chemicals, insurance and asset management, among others.

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India's Tata Motors says quarterly net profit rose 12 per cent
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