Maruti Suzuki Q4 profit rises 10%, misses estimates over higher tax expense

Keys hang from the door of a Maruti Suzuki Swift car at its stockyard on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd posted a 10% rise in quarterly net profit but missed analysts’ expectations due to higher tax expenses, sending its shares lower.

The Indian unit of Japanese car maker Suzuki Motor Corp said on Friday profit for the January-March quarter rose to Rs 1882 crore ($281.74 million) from Rs 1711crore a year earlier.

That compared with the Rs 2110 crore average estimate of 22 analysts, Thomson Reuters data showed.

An increase in effective tax rate impacted the net profit for the country’s most valuable automaker. Tax expenses jumped about 31% to Rs 752 crorein the quarter.

Maruti’s operations are key for Suzuki as it provides the bulk of the Japanese automaker’s revenues, and has a market value of over $40 billion, more than one-and-a-half times that of its parent.

The company sold a total of 461,773 vehicles during the quarter, up about 11.4% from a year earlier, while sales at home grew 11.6% to 427,082 units during the quarter.

Maruti makes vehicles ranging from hatchback cars such as ‘Alto 800’ and ‘Swift’, to four-wheel-drives such as ‘Gypsy’ that is widely used by the Indian police and the military forces.

Shares in Maruti Suzuki were down 1.98% to Rs 8,769.00, when the benchmark BSE Sensex rallied over 250 points.

($1 = 66.8000 Indian rupees)