The country's largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki India on Friday announced a 35.5 per cent fall in its net profit to Rs 800.05 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 31.
However, the company still managed to clock its highest ever annual net profit of Rs 2,852.92 crore during the fiscal. This is 15.5 per cent higher than the Rs 2,469.28 crore profit witnessed during 2012- 13.
Net sales for 2013- 14 stood at Rs 43,271.78 crore as against Rs 43,215.83 crore in the earlier fiscal.
" Overall, despite a declining market, we could increase our annual profit on the back of our cost reduction and localisation initiatives, together with favourable foreign exchange," Maruti Suzuki India chairman R. C. Bhargava told reporters.
He said the lower profit in the fourth quarter was partly due to dealer compensation for the excise duty cut. " The market will improve after the new government takes over. We expect sales to go up by some 5- 6 per cent," he added.
The company's net sales in the fourth quarter declined 9.5 per cent to Rs 11,818.13 crore from Rs 13,056.26 crore a year earlier, Maruti Suzuki India said in a statement.
Lower volumes, higher sales promotion expenses and payment of compensation to dealers due to a reduction in excise duty affected the bottom line during the quarter, the company said.
Annual sales stood at 11,55,041 units, a drop of 1.4 per cent from 11,71,434 units in 2012- 13.
The company's board recommended a dividend of Rs 12, or 240 per cent, per share of face value Rs 5 each for 2013- 14.
The company is looking to at least maintain the level of sales in the current financial year, chief operating officer ( Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said.
With exports declining, Pareek said the company is exploring how to develop markets in Africa and Middle East to expand overseas sales. Maruti Suzuki's exports in 2013- 14 were down at 101,352 units from 120,388 units previously.
The company is expected to launch three cars this financial year, including the premium sedan Ciaz, which was showcased at the auto expo this year.