Maruti Climbs After Profit Rises 42% on Ciaz, Celerio Demand

  • Baleno hatchback introduced Monday to lure premium buyers
  • Domestic deliveries increased 12% in July-September quarter

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which makes almost half the cars sold in the country, was the best performer on the benchmark stock gauge after reporting a 42 percent jump in profit amid demand for its Ciaz sedan and Celerio hatchback.

The shares rose as much as 2.1 percent. They traded at 4,473 rupees, up 2 percent, as of 2:59 p.m. in Mumbai. The performance was the best among the 30 stocks on the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which fell 0.5 percent. Maruti said Tuesday net income in the second quarter climbed to 12.3 billion rupees ($189 million). That compares with the 12.6-billion rupee average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

India’s biggest carmaker by volume is seen benefiting from lower fuel prices and a cut in lending rates as it adds new premium models including the Baleno hatchback introduced Monday. Maruti has also attracted buyers with variants of its existing models such as the hybrid version of the Ciaz, and said last month that a quarter of the Celerio and Alto K10 minicars it sells have automatic transmission.

“The festive season, especially with the Baleno being introduced, will be a good boost for Maruti although we’ll have to watch their sales numbers for a long-term view,” said Hiral Keniya, an analyst at Khambatta Securities Ltd. in Mumbai.

The automaker, which posted a 12 percent expansion in its local deliveries in the three months through September, introduced the S-Cross in the quarter and started sales of the crossover through a separate network of showrooms called NEXA. On Monday, it said the Baleno will also be sold through the same outlets. Revenue in the quarter rose to 139.3 billion rupees from 123.2 billion rupees.

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