Proton Holdings has reported a pre-tax profit of RM64.379 million for its first quarter ended June 30, 2009, up 9.7 per cent from RM58.700 million in the same quarter last year. The improved performance reflected the positive impact of a new model.

The profit was achieved over an eight per cent increase in revenue of RM1.852 billion against RM1.708 billion previously.

In a statement, the national carmaker said the better performance was contributed by a better product mix even though there was a smaller decline in car sales by two per cent compared with the total industry volume (Tiv) which had contracted by 11 per cent during the same period.

The strong sales from newly launched Proton Exora had helped the group to increase its market share to 31 per cent of the TIV in June, while improving its product mix.

Proton’s chairman Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said the results have shown that group’s efforts to enter a new segment of the local car market had produced a desired outcome.

He said the Exora recorded a total order of 8,000 units up to Aug 15 and has been receiving positive response in Indonesia following its recent launch.

During the period under review, Proton’s revenue had seen growth despite the decline in sales volume by two per cent to 39,327 units as against 39,888 units sold in the same quarter last year.

On future prospects, Proton’s managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said there have been positive signs of recovery in the global automotive industry as consumer demand stabilised and improved.

“Our prospect for acquiring more domestic sales volume and market share is encouraging, driven largely by the sales of Exora. Internationally, the group will focus on introducing the Exora in the Asean region which will further increase its sales volume,” Syed Zainal Abidin said.

Despite the improved sentiment, he said Proton was still cautious of the sustainability of the global economic recovery.