Maruti Profit Exceeds Estimates on Demand for Compact Models

  • Sales of Maruti outpace industrywide sales in quarter
  • Vitara Brezza SUV deliveries increase at a faster pace

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. posted profit that exceeded analyst estimates as the country’s biggest automaker by volume increased sales of more profitable compact models.

Net income rose 60 percent to 24 billion rupees ($358 million) in the quarter ended Sept. 30, the New Delhi-based unit of Suzuki Motor Corp. said in a statement on Thursday. That compares with the 17.7 billion rupee average of 31 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Over the past more than a year, Maruti has added more expensive compact models such as the Baleno hatchback and Vitara Brezza sport utility vehicle to its lineup to boost profitability. The automaker has also attracted buyers with automatic transmission variants of its popular models like the Alto minicar and Celerio hatchback.

Maruti started selling its Vitara Brezza in March. The company’s domestic deliveries in the quarter increased 18.4 percent, compared with the 17.8 percent growth in industrywide sales. It introduced the S-Cross in August last year and Baleno in October 2015.

Shares of Maruti fell 0.2 percent to 5,860.15 rupees in Mumbai, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index gained 0.3 percent.

Maruti may end up as a key focus of collaboration talks between Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp., which said this month that they’re examining opportunities to work together on research and development. Maruti can draw on Toyota’s expertise in clean-energy vehicles as India prepares to introduce stricter vehicle-emission standards, according to Nikkie Lu, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

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