India's Hero MotoCorp profit rises 7.5 pct, misses estimates

MUMBAI Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:22am EST

MUMBAI Jan 30 (Reuters) - Hero MotoCorp, India's largest two-wheeled vehicle maker, posted a slower-than-expected 7.5 percent rise in third-quarter profit, hurt by a rise in input costs and currency fluctuations.

Net profit was 5.25 billion rupees for the fiscal quarter ended December, compared with 4.88 billion rupees a year earlier, Hero said in a statement on Thursday.

Analysts on average expected a net profit of 6.04 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose 11 percent to 68.8 billion rupees. Sales in volume terms rose 6 percent from a year earlier.

Since its 2011 split from Japan's Honda Motor Co, Hero has been investing heavily in technology to develop new bikes. The company, like rival Bajaj Auto Ltd, has been pushing sales abroad to make up for the shrinking market share at home.

"We expect the market leader to wilt under sustained pressure from Honda and in our opinion there is too much is riding on new product launches from its untested greenfield platform," Nitesh Sharma an analyst with Espirito Santo Securities said. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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