Despite a challenging economic environment, two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto Ltd. (BAL) has reported a net profit of Rs.819 crore for the third quarter of 2012-13; a growth of 3 per cent over the same period in the previous year.

In a statement, the company said its turnover, the highest-ever for a quarter, was up nine per cent at Rs. 5,616 crore. Exports grew 2 per cent to Rs.1,748 crore. Overall sales grew by 5 per cent to 11,27,741 units.

The operating profit rose 4 per cent to Rs.1,105 crore, its highest-ever though operating margin fell to 20.1 per cent (21 per cent).

New launches push motorcycle sales

The company sold 7 per cent more motorcycles during the quarter at 687,351 units although exports were 2 per cent lower at 298,912 units. According to the company, the launch of new products helped it address the slowdown in the domestic market which grew 4 per cent. The bigger and sportier motorcycles now contribute about 70 per cent of total motorcycles sold, the company said.

In the international market, it said, Africa continued to do well with Nigeria recording the highest-ever retails in December 2012. However, in other international markets, demand remained subdued through the company’s market share in these countries improved.

Bajaj’s overall market share (domestic and exports) stood at 32 per cent.

CV sales up

During the quarter, commercial vehicle (three-wheeler) sales grew 10 per cent to 141,478 units; the highest in a quarter. This was led by 23 per cent higher domestic sales of 64,168 units while exports grew 1 per cent to 77,310 units.

Sector analysts felt the results were in line with expectations. According to Arun Agarwal, auto analyst, Kotak Securities, “the company has launched new products over the past few months and that should aid volume growth in 2013-14. Margins in 2013-14 are expected to receive a boost from currency benefits in exports and improved product-mix. We expect the company to perform strongly in 2013-14.”

Axis Bank net up

Axis Bank reported a net profit of Rs.1,347 crore in the third quarter ended December 31, 2012 against Rs.1,102 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

 For the nine months ended December 31, 2012, the bank announced a net profit of Rs.3,624 crore compared to Rs.2,965 crore in the year-ago period.

“In a challenging environment the bank has posted good results,” said Somnath Sengupta, Executive Director, Axis Bank.

The bank’s operating profit for the nine month period was Rs.6,503 crore (Rs.5,393 crore).  

 The bank recorded a net interest margin of 3.57 per cent in the third quarter, growing sequentially by 11 basis points over the second quarter of 2012-13.

SME fees

 “The main business segments driving fee growth during the quarter were retail banking fees, which grew 35 per cent year-on-year followed by SME fees, which grew 34 per cent. Treasury fees grew 18 per cent in the quarter,” said Mr. Sengupta.

 The bank’s advances grew 21 per cent to Rs.1,79,504 crore as on December 31, 2012. Retail advances grew 45 per cent and stood at Rs.48,068 crore as on December 31, 2012. Retail advances accounted for 27 per cent of net advances of the bank as on December 31, 2012, compared to 22 per cent last year.

 Investments grew 12 per cent to reach a level of Rs.1,00,912 crore as on December 31, 2012, from Rs.90,263 crore last year.

 Savings bank deposits recorded a growth of 22 per cent to touch Rs.57,521 crore as on December 31, 2012 and growth in CASA deposits which grew 13 per cent to Rs.97,757 crore.