Malaysia Proton Q4 profit down 31 pct as sales drop


KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Reuters) - Proton Holdings Bhd, Malaysia's leading car maker, reported on Tuesday a 30.5 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings on the back of falling sales.

Net profit fell to 191.55 million ringgit ($50.4 million) in the three months that ended March 31, from 275.69 million ringgit in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue dropped to 1.46 billion ringgit from 2.0 billion.

For the full year, Proton posted a net profit of 510.07 million ringgit, down by half from 1.1 billion ringgit in the previous year, but above analyst expectations.

Reuters Estimates put Proton's net profit consensus for fiscal 2004 at 415.0 million ringgit or 76.70 cents per share.

Proton shares ended up 0.6 percent on Tuesday at 7.95 ringgit. The stock has fallen 6.5 percent since the start of the year, compared with the main index's 0.6 percent gain. ($1 = 3.8 ringgit)



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