Continued healthy demand for its sports utility vehicles (SUVs) saw Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) report a 2 per cent rise in standalone net profit for the fourth quarter of 2012-13 at Rs.889.2 crore against Rs.874.5 crore in the year-ago period. During the quarter, there was an exceptional profit of Rs.90.6 crore from the sale of shares in a subsidiary.

In the same period last year, there was an exceptional profit of Rs.108 crore from merger of its subsidiary Mahindra Automotive Distributors. There was also a one-time tax saving of Rs.148.5 crore, giving total exceptional item of Rs.256 crore. Gross revenues rose 10.5 per cent to Rs.11,366 crore. Operating margin rose to 14.4 per cent (12 per cent).

For the whole of 2012-13, M&M reported a 16.5 per cent growth in net profit at Rs.3,353 crore on 26.3 per cent higher gross revenues of Rs.43,962 crore.

Dividend

The board has recommended a dividend of Rs.12.5 per share, and a special dividend of Rs.0.5 per share, totalling Rs.13 per share.

Addressing a press conference here, Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, said, “the SUV segment is very competitive today, and our market share is bound to go down but with six products in our portfolio, we are well positioned to take on competition”.

The 3 per cent hike in excise duty would have some impact but M&M would take some short-term measures to neutralise the disadvantage, he said. M&M launched two products this year, and 3-4 variants are planned. New capacities could be deferred by 3-6 months.

Over the next three years, M&M has capex plans of Rs.10,000 crore. “Of this, Rs.7,500 crore will go to capacity expansion, and 2-3 new products,’’ said V. S. Parthasarathy, Group Chief Investment Officer.

“The balance will go into group companies, Ssangyong, Reva, two-wheelers etc.”

Mr. Goenka said Ssangyong would not break-even this year.

“Till 2015, there will be $700-900 million invested without infusion from M&M. The Ssangyong Rexton sells 350-400 units a month, and we are looking at the next product to bring in”.