Ashok Leyland could report a significant improvement in its performance in the year ended March 31, 2011, by gaining market share in all the segments and in all regions and retaining leadership position in the passenger segment. The company registered a rise of 53.5 per cent in its sales turnover at Rs.11,117.71 crore against Rs.7,244.71 crore in the previous financial year. The net profit has risen by 49 per cent to Rs.631.30 crore from Rs.423.67 crore. The higher net profit was achieved despite an increase in financial expenses to Rs. 163.66 crore (Rs.81.13 crore) and in depreciation to Rs.276.43 crore (Rs.204.11 crore).

The company announced a dividend of Rs. 2 per share (of the face value of Re.1) against Rs.1.50 in the previous year.

‘Watershed year'

Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, Vinod K. Dasari, Managing Director, said 2010-11 was a watershed year for Ashok Leyland with production hitting an all-time high with highest domestic and export volumes. The company could increase its number of products during the year by launching 746 products. While domestic volumes jumped 45 per cent to 83,800 vehicles from 57.947 units, exports surged by 72 per cent to 10,306 numbers (5,979 vehicles), Mr. Dasari said. The commendable performance at the market place translated into all-round market share gains for the company. In the medium and heavy commercial vehicles segment, Ashok Leyland's share rose by 2.4 percentage points to 26 per cent, Mr. Dasari said.

The company's de-risking strategy of developing non-cyclical businesses paid rich dividends with spare parts and defence posting 20 per cent growth over last year. The company formed a subsidiary ‘Ashok Leyland Defence Systems' to build on the company's pre-eminent status of being the largest supplier of logistics vehicles to the Indian Army and to also address opportunities in overseas defence markets for tactical vehicles. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Krauss-MaffeiWegmann of Germany to develop advanced defence systems.

The company's Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) facility went on stream with an initial capacity of 2,000 vehicles per annum. To meet the increasing domestic demand the company ramped up production at the Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) plant by achieving 60 per cent of capacity by March.

Mr. Dasari said the current year would be a year of growth and consolidation in quest of its vision to be among the global top ten in trucks and top five in buses.

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