India’s top carmaker Maruti posts rise in profits

NEW DELHI, October 28, 2013 (AFP) – India’s top carmaker Maruti Suzuki Monday posted a nearly threefold jump in its quarterly net profit compared to the same period last year when production was hit by a labour dispute. Net profit was 6.70 billion rupees ($109 million) for the three months ending September 30, compared with 2.27 billion rupees a year earlier, higher than market expectations.

Net profit was 6.70 billion rupees ($109 million) for the three months ending September 30, compared with 2.27 billion rupees a year earlier, higher than market expectations.

Sales in the quarter rose 26.5 percent to 102.11 billion rupees despite India’s rapidly slowing economy and the worst slump in the car market for a decade.

Car sales for the six months since April have fallen by 4.67 percent year-on-year, the sharpest drop since the first half of 2002-03, industry data shows.

Maruti closed one of its two factories temporarily in July and August last year because of a strike and a dispute which led the management to accuse workers of sabotaging production.

“The company’s performance during the quarter has to be viewed in the context of unusually low levels of profit in the second quarter of last year owi