A de-growth in its mainstay, the motorcycle segment, saw two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto report a marginal rise in its net profit at Rs.741 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2012, against the year-ago period.

Sales declined by 4 per cent to Rs.5,139 crore selling 10 per cent fewer products at 1,049,208 units. Exports declined by 4 per cent to Rs.1,665 crore. Its operating profit fell 6 per cent to Rs.992 crore. Operating margins declined by 4 basis points to 19.7 per cent. The quarter was a challenging one for the industry at large, the company said in a statement. Further, it said the motorcycle industry, which witnessed a cumulative average growth rate of 15 per cent over the last four years, recorded a decline of 9 per cent during the quarter. The company’s domestic motorcycle sales fell by 12 per cent to 601,876 units. Total motorcycle sales fell 10 per cent to 928,524 units.

“The company’s strategy to focus on the high-end motorcycle segment together with its variable cost structure ensured that in a subdued market, there was no negative impact on operating leverage,’’ it said. Bajaj’s motorcycle market share is 27 per cent and including exports, it stood at 33 per cent.

In commercial vehicles, domestic sales grew 3 per cent to 57,047 units with the launch of diesel variants. Exports fell 22 per cent to 63,637 units giving total sales of 120,684 units; a 12 per cent drop.

During the first-half of the year, the company reported a 2 per cent higher net profit of Rs.1,459 crore on a flat turnover of Rs.10,197 crore.

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