Hero Honda Q4 net up 53.17% to Rs 298.7 cr

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (UNI) Beating expectations and bucking trends, country's largest bike maker, Hero Honda Motors Ltd, today said its net profit has surged 53.17 per cent to Rs 298.7 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2008 as compared to Rs 195 crore for the same quarter a year ago amidst rising input cost and tighter financing norms.

Its total income also registered an increase of 5.94 per cent to Rs 2,843.79 crore for Q4 FY08 from Rs 2,684.09 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2007.

It posted a net profit of Rs 967.88 crore for FY08 as compared to Rs 857.89 crore for the year ended March 31, 2007, a hike of 12.82 per cent.

The total income surged 4.23 per cent to Rs 10,517.22 crore for the year ended March 31, 2008 from Rs 10,089.81 crore last fiscal.

Even as the domestic two-wheeler industry remained sluggish on account of high interest rates and low availability of consumer finance Hero Honda's sales surpassed its tally of previous year.

It further boosted its share in the domestic motorcycle market to more than 52 per cent, even as the industry saw a decline in domestic motorcycle sales by 12 per cent and overall two-wheeler sales by seven per cent during the financial year.

Company Managing Director and CEO Pawan Munjal said, ''We have been able to improve our profitability in tandem with our increasing market share. All through the year, we have demonstrated a winning top line strategy by consistently gaining market share.'' However, for the industry as a whole, the steadily rising input costs remain a concern area. The price of steel is at an all-time high, and the prices of other commodities are also on the rise.

Mr Munjal said for more than a year, the industry has also been reeling under very high interest rates and lack of consumer finance. ''Going forward, we expect the government to address these issues for the industry to be able to make a turnaround.'' Total sales for Q4 for the company now stands at 8,84,075 units, a growth of 3.28 per cent, while total unit sales of 33,37,142 two-wheelers for FY 07-08.

EBIDTA margin for the quarter is at 14.77 per cent while for the year it stands at 13.06 per cent.

The company's earnings per share (EPS) is at Rs 48.47.

During the year the company introduced several new models including the 150-cc Hunk in the premium segment, Splendor NXG in the deluxe segment, and refreshed Pleasure in the scooter segment which all went on to drive impressive volumes. The company also achieved the landmark of two crore cumulative sales during the year.

UNI PBB PDT HT1837

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