* Q1 profit 6.32 bln rupees vs 4.24 bln rupees a year ago
* Helped by cost cuts, favourable exchange rates
(Adds forward-looking comments, executive quotes)
July 25 Maruti Suzuki India Ltd,
India's biggest carmaker, is seeking to sell more cars overseas
to offset slowing demand at home, where it expects sales volumes
to grow between zero and 5 percent in the current financial
The company warned that it expects discounts on car prices
to increase in the current quarter due to weak demand,
especially as diesel-powered cars lose their popularity after
the government allowed monthly increases in prices of the fuel.
Maruti is India's leader in the small car market and
accounts for 40 percent of all passenger vehicles sold in the
country. It faces increased competition as global automakers
step up launches in a market that has endured falling sales for
eight months in a row - down from double-digit growth just two
"Exports are high on our agenda particularly when the
domestic markets are not growing," a Maruti executive said on a
conference call with analysts, adding that the firm wants to
expand in existing markets with more products.
However, Maruti expects export volumes to be flat for the
current financial year. Exports accounted for 8 percent of total
sales of 266,434 vehicles during the quarter.
Maruti, 56.2 percent owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp
, said net profit rose 49 percent to 6.32 billion rupees
($107 million) for the three months to June, helped by cost
cuts, favourable exchange rates and the company's merger with
its engine production unit.
Analysts on average had expected the company to report a net
profit of 6.62 billion rupees for the period, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in MUMBAI; Editing by Matt
Driskill and Elaine Hardcastle)