The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Telco stays on profit track

Mumbai, Oct. 30: Tata Engineering & Locomotive Company (Telco) bounced back from a Rs 62-crore second-quarter loss in 2001 to announce a Rs 58.8-crore net profit in the three months ended September this year. The rebound was fuelled by an all-round surge in sales of its cars and commercial vehicles of all categories.

On a sequential basis (compared with the first quarter), net profit more than doubled. Gross sales, including excise duty, in the second quarter jumped 25.4 per cent at Rs 2576 crore from Rs 2054 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year.

Analysts see in the turnaround a sign that the worst is behind for a company that suffered seven straight quarters of loss until December 2001. The troubles were blamed on falling sales of trucks, its bread-and-butter business, and the Rs 1700-crore investment in a car project.

The return to profits has been driven by strong demand for its multi-axle trucks. Also, the focus on diesel engines for Indica have paid off at a time when petrol prices are the highest the country has ever witnessed.

Second-quarter sales of commercial vehicles increased 22.1 per cent over the same period last year, while sales of passenger vehicles were up 41.8 per cent. The company has captured 16 per cent of the market in passenger vehicles.

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