Atlas Honda Limited – the biggest producer of motorcycles in Pakistan – posted after-tax profit of Rs1.6 billion in the financial year ended March 2013, an impressive growth of 33% compared to net earnings of Rs1.2 billion in FY12 as sales rose amid launch of new models.
The company also announced a final cash dividend of Rs7.5 per share for the year, according to a communication sent to the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Tuesday.
The board of directors also recommended issuance of bonus shares in the proportion of one bonus share for every four shares held.
Earnings per share stood at Rs19.44 in FY13 against Rs14.56 in the previous year.
Atlas Honda produced approximately 571,000 motorcycles in financial year 2011, accounting for 68% of total production in the country. It aims to touch the 1-million-unit mark, which is described as the next psychological barrier.
Atlas Honda also wants to reduce the cost of production by increasing the ratio of local content in motorcycle production from 92% to 100%.
However, small and medium-sized motorcycle assemblers in the country complain that the government is not providing a level playing field to all players. They argue that policies vary for big and small players and these are heavily tilted in favour of big companies.
Nevertheless, industry officials say the motorcycle industry has been showing a steady growth over the last three years. Annual production of motorcycles has remained stable at around 1.6 million units for the last three years and has the potential to grow sharply because of strong demand in the domestic market.
Atlas Honda – a joint venture between the Atlas Group, a local financial and industrial conglomerate, and Honda Motor of Japan – is by far the biggest motorcycle producer in the country.
Honda operates through two joint ventures in Pakistan’s automobile industry, both with the Atlas Group. It owns a 51% stake in Honda Atlas Cars (a sedan assembler) and a 35% stake in Atlas Honda (the motorcycle producer).
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2013.
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