Jaguar Land Rover helps drive Tata

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TataMotors REUTERS

India's Tata Motors capped a bumper fiscal year with a 139 percent rise in quarterly net profit, boosted by exceptional items and as emerging market demand for its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) vehicles offset lacklustre performance at its core domestic business.

JLR's growth in overseas markets - it sells imports in India and recently began assembling some Land Rover models there - has helped insulate Tata from a sluggish domestic car market which grew just 2.2 percent in the last fiscal year.

The British luxury brands, which Tata bought for $2.3 billion in 2008, brought in over 95 percent of the carmaker's profit in the quarter to March 31, as new models and increased focus on markets such as Russia and China swelled sales by 48 percent.

Tata, part of the software-to-hotels Tata Group, India's largest business house by revenue, said net profit for the quarter to end-March was 62.5 billion rupees ($1.13 billion), up from 26.2 billion rupees, helped by 217 million pounds ($340.6 million) in deferred tax assets.

Consolidated net profit, after accounting for minority interest and share of associates, was at 62.3 billion rupees.

Consolidated revenue rose 44 percent to 509 billion rupees, compared with 353 billion rupees a year ago.

India's biggest truck manufacturer and the maker of the Nano, dubbed the world's cheapest car, Tata sparked fears it had bitten off more than it could chew when it bought the loss-making JLR brands from Ford Motor Co with minimal experience in international manufacturing and luxury products.

The acquisition has fast overshadowed its parent.

Boosted by runaway demand for the Range Rover Evoque compact SUV launched last year, JLR's revenue grew 51.5 percent to 9.87 billion pounds in the quarter to March.

The unit reported an operating profit of 14.6 percent in the quarter, against 9.5 percent for the domestic business.

Sales in China in the fiscal year to end-March accounted for 17.3 percent of JLR's global sales, almost as much as the UK, its home market, which accounted for 19.1 percent of sales. - Reuters


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