Bajaj Auto posts robust topline growth
LIC pact for online premium payment
IDBI net drops 79% to Rs 38 cr
Orissa to sign deal to settle NTPC dues

Mumbai, July 27: 
The first quarter of the year 2002-03 for Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAL) has gone according to its own script. Sales volumes rose 19 per cent while turnover was up 27 per cent with exports leaping 118 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter of last year.

Sales and income from operations during the period under review rose sharply by 31.44 per cent to Rs 1,202.6 crore as against Rs 914.9 crore in the previous year.

Bajaj Auto said the profit before tax and extraordinary items has increased from Rs 109.7 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year to Rs 187.8 crore in the current quarter � an increase of 71 per cent.

However, the company recorded a marginal rise in net profit at Rs 121.8 crore compared with Rs 120.7 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

The profit after tax stands at Rs 121.8 crore in the current quarter as against Rs 120.7 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The profit after interest and depreciation from operations (auto business) increased from Rs 65.6 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year to Rs Rs 156.6 crore in the current quarter � an increase of 139 per cent.

Alluding to the marginal increase in net profit, BAL pointed out that its non-operating income has declined to Rs 34.5 crore in the current quarter from Rs 56.5 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. It was a result of the lower dividend received in the current quarter.

The income for the first quarter of 2001-02 included a sum of Rs 23.7 crore received as dividend from ICICI for the year 2000-01. The company had also received a premium on insurance venture from Allianz AG.

The market share of the company in the motorcycle segment increased by 3.3 per cent to 23.7 per cent. The Boxer and the Pulsar range of products have largely driven the growth in this segment. The company continues to be a dominant player in the entry and the performance segment of this market.

A sub-100 cc motorcycle currently is in an advanced stage of trials, testing and is slated for launch in the second quarter. This is expected to redefine the entry-level segment. The decline in the geared scooter segment continued during this quarter.

During the quarter the market declined by 35 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. The Chetak 4-stroke launched earlier is gaining increased acceptance and currently sells around 4,500 units per month.

In the three-wheeler segment the company�s sales have increased by 25 per cent in the current quarter compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.

Bajaj Auto also strengthened its position as the largest exporter of two- and three-wheelers in the country.

During the quarter the company exported 18,670 two- and three-wheelers as against 8,307 numbers in the corresponding quarter of the previous year � an increase of 124 per cent.

Apart from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, exports to Latin America doubled and opening of new markets in Peru and Eygpt helped in increasing the sale of three-wheelers.

Total two-wheeler exports in numbers increased 105 per cent from 5,903 units to 12,151 units and total three-wheeler exports in numbers grew 171 per cent from 2,404 units to 6,519 units.


Mumbai, July 27: 
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has tied up with BillDesk Services, a bill management service bureau, to enable LIC policyholders to pay premiums electronically through their banks.

�Policyholders, who have accounts in Bank of Baroda and IDBI Bank can pay their LIC premium using the internet,� LIC managing director A. Ramamurthy told newspersons here today. �As more banks offer such services, a large number of the corporation�s policy holders would benefit. Currently, we have 14 crore policy holders,� he added.

LIC would pay Rs 3 to BillDesk for every direct debit and Rs 5 to Rs 7 if the transaction is done through the electronic clearing service, Ramamurthy said.

BoB, IDBI Bank and ABN Amro Bank have already tied up with BillDesk for this bill payment service.

LIC follows service providers like BSES, Hutch, Mahanagar Gas, AirTel and Hughes who have already tied up with BillDesk for electronic bill payments.

According to director of BillDesk M N Srinivasu, the company partners with banks in enabling them to offer a ready, comprehensive bill payment service to their customers. The service model enables banks to offer this service to all their customers regardless of the technology employed by the banks.

BoB executive director A.K. Khandelwa said the bank has of late been concentrating on technology initiatives and offering payment and collection service is one of them.

IDBI Bank managing director and CEO Gunit Chadha said the bank has 84 branches and four extension counters with 247 ATMs.


July 27: 
The Industrial Development Bank of India�s net profit fell sharply by 79.12 per cent at Rs 38 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2002, compared with Rs 182 crore in the same period of the previous year.

Income from operations in the reporting period also decreased by 22.8 per cent at Rs 1,665 crore as against Rs 2,157 crore in the year-ago period, an IDBI release said.

Other income in the first quarter stood at Rs 19 crore (Rs 44 crore in the same quarter of last fiscal).

Bad and doubtful debts/investments written off or provided for were lower at Rs 97 crore (Rs 264 crore). Accelerated write-off of bad and doubtful debts of Rs 2,500.26 crore during the previous accounting year ended March 2002 was made by drawing the equivalent amount from the special reserve, it added.

Eicher net profit

Commercial vehicle maker Eicher Motors Ltd (EML) today reported a net profit of Rs 5.37 crore during the first three months this fiscal against Rs 2.54 crore a year ago.

Net sales stood at Rs 122.48 crore during April-June 2002 against Rs 8.432 crore a year ago, a company statement said.

EML made a provision of Rs 1.73 crore for the current year�s tax liability and Rs 1.40 crore for deferred tax liability.

The company posted a 45 per cent increase in sales to 2,503 units during the first quarter against 1,731 units during the corresponding period last year.

IPCL net loss

Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (IPCL), which had been recently acquired by the Reliance group, has suffered a net loss of Rs 6 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2002 compared with a net profit of Rs 13 crore in the same period of the previous year.

Sales for the period under review were down by 9.86 per cent at Rs 1,782 crore as against Rs 1,977 crore in the first quarter of 2001-02.

Turnover for the quarter includes inter-divisional sales and excise duty of Rs 785 crore and Rs 140 crore respectively.

VisualSoft fares well

The Hyderabad-based infotech company VisualSoft Technologies Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 7.37 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2002, a 14.5 per cent growth over the previous sequential quarter, while the total income touched Rs 29.02 crore.

The IT solutions segment remained the mainstay of the company with revenues from this segment touching Rs 26.67 crore during the quarter, a 15.8 per cent increase over the corresponding quarter last year and a 6.65 per cent over the previous sequential quarter.

The company�s board of directors has recommended a dividend of Rs 2 per share for the year ended March 31, 2002.

With the main business focus being laid on providing end-to-end solutions to its clients worldwide, the company is poised to perform at a consistent growth rate in line with the industry growth rates, the release said.


Bhubaneswar, July 27: 
Accepting the recommendations of a sub-committee, the Orissa Cabinet on Friday decided to sign the tripartite agreement between the state, Centre and the Reserve Bank of India for settlement of NTPC�s dues with suitable safeguards.

Before signing the agreement, Grid Corporation of Orissa Ltd (Gridco) and the four privately-run power distribution companies (Distcos) would sign a legally enforceable contractual arrangement, preferably a bank guarantee, chief secretary D P Bagchi said.

This would enable the government and Gridco to recover the amount from the Distcos before they are deducted from the state�s central plan allocation on account of default in payment of NTPC�s dues.

Gridco has to pay NTPC about Rs 1100 crore towards arrear dues for purchasing power till September 30, 2001 which would be paid in the shape of tax free bonds. The repayment would be spread over 15 years with a moratorium on repayment of the principal amount over the first five years.

The principal would be repaid in 20 instalments to be paid every six months over the subsequent ten years.

However, the interest would have to be paid regularly at the rate of 8.5 per cent, he said.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik presided over the Cabinet meeting. The sub-committee, set up by the Cabinet on July 9, was headed by energy minister A U Singh Deo, and had finance minister Ramkrushna Patnaik and industries minister K V Singh Deo as members.

The panel decided last Sunday that Orissa should sign the agreement with suitable safeguards.


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