India's TVS Motor misses forecast as costs weigh


* Profit up 1.4 pct, revenue up 7 pct

* Two-wheeler sales flat during quarter

* Increased input costs drag

Jan 31 (Reuters) - TVS Motor Co, India's No. 3 two-wheeler maker, missed estimates with a 1.4 percent rise in quarterly profit as increased raw material costs hit the company's margins.

Motorcycle makers in India maintained strong sales in 2011 as carmakers saw volumes fall on high interest rates and rising fuel prices, but increased commodity costs have hurt margins across the auto industry.

TVS reported net profit of 565.3 million rupees ($11.35 million) in the quarter to end-December, compared with 557.5 million rupees a year previously. Revenues rose 7 percent to 17.62 billion rupees.

Analysts expected profit of 591.4 million rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which makes the popular Apache motorcycle and Scooty scooter, said on Tuesday two-wheeler sales were flat in the quarter. Raw material costs rose 4.6 percent during the quarter compared to 12 months previously.

Bigger rivals Hero MotoCorp Ltd earlier reported a 43 percent jump in quarterly profit, while Bajaj Auto Ltd said profit rose 19 percent.

Sales of motorcycles and scooters in Asia's third-largest economy are seen rising 13-15 percent in the financial year that ends in March, an industry body said this month. Sales are expected to grow 11-14 percent in the coming financial year.

Shares in TVS, valued at $490 million by the market, rose as much as 2.5 percent after the results were announced. The stock was up 1.8 percent at 0925 GMT at 51.85 rupees, in line with a Mumbai market up 1.7 percent. ($1 = 49.7950 rupees) (Reporting by Henry Foy in MUMBAI; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)



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