India's Hero MotoCorp misses Q2 profit estimates, sales dip

An employee works on a motorbike inside a Hero MotoCorp service station in New Delhi, India, May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal/Files

BENGALURU, Nov 3 (Reuters) - India's Hero MotoCorp Ltd (HROM.NS), the world's largest two-wheeler maker by sales, reported a bigger-than-expected fall in second-quarter profit on Thursday as expenses rose and sales volume dipped.

Profit after tax fell 10% to 7.16 billion Indian rupees ($86.37 million) for the three months ended Sept. 30, from 7.94 billion rupees a year earlier, an exchange filing showed.

Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 7.41 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Number of two-wheelers sold during the reported quarter stood at 1.43 million against 1.44 million a year ago.

Cost of materials consumed rose 7.4% to 65.17 billion rupees, pushing overall expenses up nearly 9%.

"The global macro headwinds may keep the playfield a bit uncertain, and navigating the same over the next few quarters will be important," Niranjan Gupta, chief financial officer, said in a statement.

"As the commodities cool off, and the rate cycle reachesits peak, the medium term outlook for the Indian auto industry appears quite encouraging."

The company also said it will continue to build its presence in the premium segment via multiple launches over the next few quarters.

Hero MotoCorp is also shifting to cleaner vehicles and launched its first electric scooter last month after several months of delay. It has made a string of investments in electric vehicle startups in recent months. read more

Revenue from operations rose 7.4% to 90.75 billion rupees.

($1 = 82.90 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Anisha Ajith in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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