Mahindras plan another SUV, cargo carrier
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has lined up investments of Rs 2,000 crore on various plans. Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman and managing director, M&M, announced the strategy at a conference held to announce the company’s results in Mumbai on Monday.
The company’s plans include introduction of two new platforms for passenger vehicles. “We are working on two new platforms, one is for an SUV (sports utility vehicle) that will take us slightly upmarket and the other is for a cargo and passenger vehicle,” said Pawan Goenka, president of the company's automotive division. He however, did not give a time-frame for the new models.
M&M’s plan for entering the US pick-up truck market, though, has still not been completed. “We are working on the emission and safety norms for the truck, which will be based on the Scorpio platform,” Goenka said. The new premium SUV would not be launched in the US anytime soon, he added.
M&M has in the past year completed a slew of acquisitions in the forgings and automotive components space. Now it was time for consolidation, said Mahindra. However, he did not rule out further acquisitions.
The company’s fourth quarter net profit fell 26.5 per cent to Rs 236.04 crore from Rs 321 crore reported a year earlier. Mahindra attributed the fall to a one-time charge from a stake sale in Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services. M&M made an exceptional gain of Rs 8.14 crore in the quarter ending arch 2007, much lower than Rs 166 crore a year earlier.
Group revenues rose 40.6 per cent to Rs 5,882.30 crore for the quarter ended March 2007 from Rs 4183.9 crore in the corresponding period last year. Gross revenue in 2006-07 increased 39.7 per cent to Rs 19,436.8 crore, while profits grew Rs 17.9 per cent to Rs 1,497.1 crore. Standalone profit for the fourth quarter rose by 35.9 per cent for the flagship M&M, up to Rs 238.6 crore from Rs 175.6 crore the same quarter last year.
Meanwhile, the Bombay Stock Exchange will include M&M in the Sensex, replacing Hero Honda Motors. The decision had an immediate effect on the M&M stock price, which touched Rs 746 briefly before ending at Rs 740.25.