Proton Holdings Bhd has reported a swing back into profit for its quarterly results.

The Malaysian car manufacturer today recorded profits before tax for the third quarter of RM96.0m (US$25.8m), compared to a loss before tax of RM158.8m in the previous quarter.

However, the figure was still a major drop on the same period last year, when the company reported a profit before tax of RM175.2m. Proton said the adverse variances were mainly due to higher promotion and component costs in the current quarter.

In the cumulative nine months period, loss before tax was RM67.1m compared to a profit before tax of RM614.4m in the corresponding period last year, a variance of RM681.5m.

"The loss was mainly due to higher allowances for doubtful debts and promotion costs, lower sales, higher components cost and allowance for stock obsolescence," a statement from the company said.

Looking forward it added: "Intense competition in both the domestic and export markets are expected to continue to put pressures on group sales and profitability. The group will continue to focus on retaining the domestic market share while promoting export growth. Continuous efforts are also directed at improving quality, enhancing cost competitiveness and introduction of new models to mitigate the impact of higher costs and increasing competition."

Revenues in the third quarter were up to RM2,153m from RM2,102m in the same period a year before.