Tata Motors Ltd., India's largest automobile maker,
said lower tax payments and improved margins helped its profit grow
19 per cent in the latest quarter despite a drop in the number of
Most analysts had predicted the company's profit to decline from
a year ago, because of a slump in the automobile market. The Indian
auto market has been hit in recent months by a sharp rise in
But Tata Motors' net profit grew to 5.27 billion rupees ($132
million) in the July-September quarter, up 19.3 per cent from 4.41
billion rupees in the same period last year, the company said in a
Sales rose 1.3 per cent to 66.73 billion rupees ($1.67 billion)
in the fiscal second quarter.
Profits grew faster than sales largely because the company paid
much less in taxes during the quarter, according to data provided by
Also, Tata Motors said it improved its operating margin to 12.4
per cent in the latest quarter from 11.5 per cent in the April-June
period. Operating margin is the share of revenue remaining after all
operational expenses are paid.
Tata Motors shares rose as the earnings numbers came in, but fell
in late trade to close at 758 rupees, down 1.25 per cent from
Tata makes cars, buses, trucks and utility vehicles. Most of its
sales are in India, but the company also exports to markets in
Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere in Asia.
Domestic sales declined to 1.23 million units in the
July-September quarter from 1.26 million a year ago. Exports dropped
marginally to about 13,800 units.
Tata Motors is part of the Tata group, one of India's leading
companies with interests spanning steel, software services, hotels,
chemicals, insurance and asset management, among others.