A man walks between two Ashok Leyland Ltd. goods-carrier trucks parked at a toll plaza in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Bloomberg News)

Ashok Leyland Posts Highest Ever Profit, Revenue But Shares Decline

Ashok Leyland Ltd.’s profit rose for the third straight quarter, meeting analyst estimates in the quarter ended March.

Net profit of the truck and bus maker rose 40 percent year-on-year to Rs 667.3 crore during January-March period, according to its stock exchange notification. This was the highest ever quarterly profit the company had recorded so far. That compares with the Bloomberg consensus estimate of Rs 637 crore.

Revenue rose to a record 31.8 percent on a yearly basis to Rs 8,772.5 crore led by higher sales growth. This was, however, marginally lower than the estimated Rs 8,853 crore. Ashok Leyland sold 58,735 units between January and March, an increase of 23.3 percent from the corresponding quarter last year.

“We have posted record revenues with record profits and as at the end of the year, we were cash positive with nearly Rs. 3000 crore surplus,” Gopal Mahadevan, chief financial officer at Ashok Leyland said in the exchange filing. “Our focus on working capital and operational efficiency will continue,” he added.

“Going forward, the after-sales market and exports will remain key focus areas”, Mahadevan told BloombergQuint in an interview. He cautioned against rising oil prices, saying it will push up freight rates for the automaker.

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The operating income or the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 41.5 percent to Rs 1,032.6 crore as compared to the same quarter last year while the operating margin expanded 80 basis points to 11.8 percent.

Shares of Ashok Leyland closed 3.8 percent lower at Rs 148.40. The stock gained 22.1 percent between January and March, compared to a 9.9 percent decline in NSE Nifty Auto Index.

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