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India's Tata Motors profit up 46 per cent

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MUMBAI (AP) _ India's largest automobile manufacturer, Tata Motors Ltd., said Thursday its net profit in the October-December quarter climbed 45.6 per cent, helped largely by income from the sale of equity in one of its subsidiaries.

The company's net profit rose to 4.6 billion rupees ($102 million US) in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, up from 3.1 billion rupees in the same period a year ago.

The profit included 1.64 billion rupees ($36 million) the company received from the sale of 20 per cent equity in its subsidiary Telcon Ltd. to technology partner Hitachi Construction Machinery Co.

The company said quarterly sales increased 13 per cent to 50.75 billion rupees ($1.13 billion).

The increase in sales was largely attributed to exports of cars and trucks, which increased 35 per cent during the period.

``Our international business has done well,'' said Praveen Kadle, executive director of finance at Tata Motors. ``The overall international sales in commercial vehicles and passenger cars has picked up and done quite well.

The results came on a day when the country's stock markets were closed because of the Muslim holiday Muharram.

The figures released Thursday conformed to Indian accounting standards.

The company, which is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange, also provides figures conforming to U.S. standards, which usually differ from the Indian figures. But it was not immediately clear when those figures would be announced.

Tata Motors, set up in 1954, mostly manufactured trucks and buses until 1998, when it entered the passenger car market with a hatchback _ the Indica, which now accounts for a fifth of total small car sales in the country.

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India's Tata Motors profit up 46 per cent
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