The world’s largest two-wheeler maker, Hero MotoCorp, posted a 35% increase in net profit in the fourth quarter on the back of record sales in March and a recovery in rural demand.

Net profit rose in line with market expectations to Rs 967.40 crore while revenue jumped 24% to Rs 8,564 crore in the quarter ended March. Hero MotoCorp sold 730,473 units in March, the highest ever monthly sales achieved by a two-wheeler company.

The impressive performance took the full year net to Rs 3,697.36 crore from Rs 3,377.12 crore while revenue increased 13% to Rs 32,230.49 crore in 2017/18 from Rs 28,500.46 crore in the previous year.

“We are clearly focussed on sustaining our leadership in the market and consistently keep increasing wealth for our investors,” said Pawan Munjal, chairman, managing director, and chief executive officer, Hero MotoCorp.

“The fiscal year 2018 proved to be yet another year of record performances and landmark achievements–be it domestic sales, global expansion or in the field of research & development, manufacturing excellence and technological innovations at Hero MotoCorp and its alliances.”

Hero is now betting on electric two-wheelers to ride its way into the future. It has invested Rs 201 crore in electric two-wheeler startup Ather Energy to acquire about 30% equity and Ather expects to start selling its smart electric scooter, the S340, soon.

The company is also focusing on premium bikes such as its latest launch, India’s first 200 cc adventure motorcycle, XPulse. It has also forayed into the 125cc scooter segment with Maestro Edge 125 and Duet 125 this year. To augment its leadership in 100-125cc motorcycle segment, Hero has launched Passion PRO, Passion XPRO and Super Splendor.

“Another big leap, catering to popular customer demand, HeroMotoCorp, marked its entry in the premium motorcycle segment as we unveiled two new 200cc motorcycles–XPulse and Xtreme 200R, at Auto Expo 2018. The sales will begin in FY19. At the same time, we will continue to build and explore new age technology solutions to be future ready,” said Munjal.

On Wednesday, Hero MotoCorp’s shares closed 1.91% lower on the BSE at Rs 3,662.30.

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