Maruti Suzuki India posts first quarterly loss since 2003 on virus hit

(Representative image)

BENGALURU: Maruti Suzuki India Ltd reported a quarterly loss for the first time since its listing in 2003 on Wednesday, as the coronavirus lockdown and supply chain disruptions bruised sales for the automaker, sending its shares down as much as 2.5%.
The pandemic and associated plunge in demand has taken a heavy toll on automakers globally as people choose to stay indoors. It has worsened problems for carmakers in India, who were already seeing weak demand and an inventory pile up.
Maruti, India’s largest automaker by market capitalization, logged a net loss of Rs 249 crore ($33.30 million) for the three months ended June 30, compared with a profit of Rs 1,436 crore a year ago.
An average estimate of analysts had forecast it to post a loss of Rs 296 crore, according to Refinitiv data.
The loss at Maruti, controlled by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp, comes days after its peers Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan Motor forecast record losses for the current fiscal year partly due to the pandemic.
India went under a lockdown for over two months beginning late March, as the government scrambled to curb the spread of the coronavirus, forcing several automakers to suspend manufacturing.
While most companies have restarted production, showrooms continue to see lower footfalls and automakers are still waiting for signs of a return in demand.
Maruti said it saw no production and sales for most of the quarter, in compliance with the government-stipulated lockdown. Manufacturing during the quarter was equivalent to about two weeks, the company said here in a statement.
India’s auto sales volume is expected to take another 3-4 years to return to peak levels, an industry trade body said earlier this month.
Maruti’s unit sales dropped 81% year-on-year to 76,599 vehicles, but it said the numbers were not comparable, as it had to suspend operations from March 22 due to the lockdown.
Revenue from operations fell over 79% to Rs 4,107 crore, it added.

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