India’s Mahindra’s Q2 profit jumps 67% on strong SUV demand

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra on Friday reported a 67% rise in second-quarter profit, helped by strong sales of its sport utility vehicles.

The ‘Scorpio’ manufacturer reported a standalone profit after tax of 34.52 billion rupees ($413.88 million) in the September quarter, against 20.68 billion rupees a year before.

Mahindra benefited from strong demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) – which make up over one in two passenger vehicles sold in Asia’s third largest economy.

Better availability of chips and a rise in production capacity helped Mahindra log record sales during the quarter, pushing its standalone revenue to a record 243.1 billion rupees.

Open bookings of SUVs stood at 286,000 as on Nov. 1, reflecting strong demand, the company said in a statement.

The rise in SUV sales more than offset a fall in sale of tractors – a segment that is more profitable than its auto counterpart.

Mahindra’s operating margin for the September quarter came in at 17.06%, compared with 16.01% a year before.

Shares of the company were down 2% at 1520.65 rupees at 0732 GMT.

($1 = 83.4050 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)