Commercial vehicles manufacturer Ashok Leyland increased its net profit by 116% while recording a jump in sales of 39% in the first quarter of 2004-05 compared to the same period last year.

The company reported a net profit of €5.7 million on net sales of €146.64 million against a net profit of €2.64 million on sales of €105.3 million in the first quarter of 2003-04.

The rise in profits is a result of a 33% increase in sales - a total of 11,101 vehicles (both domestic and exports) in April-June 2004 against 8,347 in the same period last year and reduction in company's financial expenses by 65.2 %, down to €530,357 from €1.53 million previously. But the cost of raw materials went up from €72.41 million in the quarter last year to €109 million for the quarter this year.

The company has benefited from the infrastructure boom in the country and at the same time invested in exports so that a good portion of revenues now comes from shipments to other countries.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup