MUMBAI, July 26 (Reuters) - India's largest car maker,Udyog Ltd. , reported a higher-than-expected 35 percent rise in quarterly net profit on Thursday as cost cutting and solid sales of premium cars offset volatile raw material costs and rising interest rates.
, 54.2 percent owned by Japan's Motor Corp. , said net profit rose to 4.99 billion rupees ($124 million) in the fiscal first quarter to end-June, from 3.70 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier.
That beat a forecast of 3.69 billion rupees in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.
Maruti has nearly half the Indian market with models including the best-selling Alto and Swift hatchback, but is facing competition from local rival Tata Motors Ltd. , as well as international heavyweights Hyundai Motor ,Motor , Motor and .
Maruti's vehicle sales rose 17 percent to 169,669 units in the April-June quarter but the company has said it would be difficult to match its record domestic sales of 2006/07 as higher interest rates have dampened consumer demand.
Shares of Maruti, which has a market value of $5.87 billion, fell 9.4 percent in the quarter, trailing a 2.7 percent decline on the sector index and a 12 percent gain for the benchmark index . ($1=40.3 rupees)