Indian tyremaker Apollo's second fiscal quarter consolidated sales rose over 60% and said results were "sound" despite rising raw material prices.

Consolidated revenue at INR20.46bn was up 62% from INR12.62bn a year ago.

Consolidated operating profit of INR2.9bn compared with INR818.3m. Consolidated net profit after tax was INR1.29bn versus INR151m.

Stand-alone India operations revenue was INR12.2bn. up 24% from INR9.81bn. Operating profit was INR2.01bn versus INR511m and net profit after tax INR1.02bn compared with INR78m.

Chairman Onkar Kanwar said: "The steady growth achieved by Apollo Tyres despite rising raw material prices reflects the true spirit of our most valuable asset, the employees. In the quarter under review, higher raw material costs were absorbed by the company in order to protect consumers' interest. This was possible only because of our continued emphasis on managing costs and efficiencies internally, which began in the first quarter of the last financial year."

Half year consolidated revenue was up 43% to INR36.82bn, operating profit was INR4.98bn versus INR2.24bn and onsolidated net profit after tax was INR2.03bn versus INR737.9m.

Kanwar warned about the input cost trends. "The volatile raw material prices, especially natural rubber, have been forever a cause of concern for the tyre industry in India. For instance, in the last few months, prices of domestically available natural rubber have gone up substantially, forcing the industry to import it, as the ruling international prices have been significantly lower."

Chief financial officer Sunam Sarkar told Reuters after the results announcement Apollo now saw a 15% rise in domestic sales in the fiscal year to March, up from 11% seen earlier.

"From a top-line perspective we'll see a similarly strong trend, because the economy is continuing to do well. From a margin perspective there will be pressure because raw material prices are going up," Sarkar said.

"But we think the two will kind of, more or less, even out for the rest of the year. So expect similar kind of margin going forward."

Apollo had hiked product prices 2% earlier in October and Sarkar said it would have to pass on any increase in costs to customers to maintain margins.

Operating margins stood at around 16% and net margins at 8%, Sarkar said, attributing the rise in profits to the spurt in sales.