MUMBAI Jan 16 Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto reported a better-than-expected 10.5 percent increase in quarterly net profit, helped by a foreign exchange gains and as higher revenues from exports helped offset weak demand for its vehicles.
The company, for whom exports contribute more than a third of sales, said net profit for the October-December quarter was 9.05 billion rupees ($147 million), compared with 8.19 billion rupees a year ago.
The company also benefited from a foreign exchange contract related gain of nearly 1 billion rupees during the quarter.
The average estimate of 15 analysts was for a profit of 8.82 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Export revenue rose 23 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, the company said on Thursday, although total sales in volume terms fell nearly 12 percent.
Its operating margin -- said to be the best in the industry -- was 21.1 percent in the quarter, wider than 19.8 percent reported a year ago.
Shares of the company, which is India's biggest exporter of two-wheeler vehicles and three-wheelers such as tuk tuks, were trading up 0.8 percent at 1,908 rupees in afternoon trade in a Mumbai market that was down 0.3 percent.
($1= 61.6 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Sunil Nair)