UPDATE 1-Jaguar Land Rover Sept sales blow for Tata

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:39am EDT

* JLR sales down 4 pct in September year-on-year

* JLR accounts for 90 pct of profit, key growth driver

* Total Tata Motors sales down 4 pct in September

MUMBAI, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Jaguar Land Rover sales fell in September, the first monthly fall since July 2011 and a blow for Indian parent Tata Motors - the luxury vehicles make up 90 percent of group profit.

JLR's sales growth over the past year, helped by the new Evoque model and success in emerging markets such as China, had been offsetting sluggish growth in Tata's domestic business and driven its stock price up 50 percent over the past 12 months.

The British brands sales fell 4 percent in September, year-on-year, with 26,461 vehicles sold. It had previously reported August sales up 13 percent, down from annual increases of about 40 percent in the preceding three months.

"These numbers are not good," said Jinesh Gandhi, automotive analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities in Mumbai. "This is below consensus expectations and so the stock is likely to be affected negatively."

JLR, which Tata bought for $2.3 billion in 2008, has helped offset slowing sales of Tata's own branded cars and trucks in India where cooling economic growth and high interest rates have hit demand.

It accounted for about 70 percent of Tata Motor's consolidated revenue in the April-June quarter, and around 90 percent of profit.

Tata Motors' overall global vehicle sales were down 4 percent in September year-on year to 103,656 vehicles, also the first monthly fall since July 2011.

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