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Jain Irrigation Profit Skids 76% as Sales Hurt by Drought

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., Asia’s largest irrigation-equipment maker, said fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 76 percent as demand was affected by a prolonged drought in parts of India.

Jain, based in Jalgaon, reported standalone net income of 419 million rupees ($7.5 million) for the three months ending March 31 compared with 1.73 billion rupees a year earlier.

Sales of micro-irrigation systems fell 20 percent due to “significant drought” in western Maharashtra state, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital of Mumbai, accounts for 60 percent of the area under drip irrigation in the nation, according to Jain’s website.

“We believe the worst is definitely behind us,” Managing Director Anil Jain said in the statement. “In terms of dynamics of evolving issues, we feel water management and distributed energy is the need of the hour.”

Jain’s solar business sales grew 34 percent in the quarter, buoyed by irrigation-pumping systems powered by solar panels that allow farmers to save on diesel fuel costs.

The shares gained 1.4 percent to 68.6 rupees today, trimming their decline to 8.5 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at npearson7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net

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