NEW DELHI: India’s biggest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Saturday reported a 23% plunge in quarterly profit, missing market forecasts as the company struggles to recover from deadly labour unrest. Maruti said that net profit fell to 4.24 billion Indian rupees ($76.6 million) in the three months to June from 5.49 billion Indian rupees a year earlier, marking its fourth straight quarterly profit fall. Analysts expected Maruti, 54.2% owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor, to post a net profit of 5.0 billion rupees. “Adverse currency movements, notably the yen-rupee exchange rate, impacted profits negatively,” Maruti said, adding demand for petrol cars suffered “sharp de-growth” as buyers opted for cars powered by cheaper diesel fuel. The disappointing results come as Maruti strives to recover from the worst-ever labour unrest in the company’s history on July 18 that left a manager dead and nearly 100 other executives hurt at one of its main plants that produced 550,000 vehicles a year – 40% of output.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2012.