India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Tuesday reported an increase of 5.1% in its net profit for the quarter ended December 2019. The company attributed the rise to cost reduction efforts, lower operating expenses, lower commodity prices, and reduction in corporate tax rate.

The carmaker’s profit rose to ₹1,565 crore in the third quarter from ₹1,489.3 crore in the same period last year. Its total revenue from operations during the quarter also rose 5.8% over a year to ₹20,707 crore.

The automobile industry in India has been in the grip of a slowdown for more than a year now, as the overall cost of owning a car rose due to increased insurance cost, high raw material costs, fuel price volatility, and transition to Bharat Stage VI emission norms.

In Q3, Maruti Suzuki’s total sales rose 2% to 437,361 units. Domestic sales stood at 413,698 units and exports at 23,663 units. The company registered net sales of ₹19,649.1 crore, 3.8% higher over the same period in the previous year.

In the first nine months of the current financial year (April-December 2019), the company’s net profit stood at ₹4,358.9 crore, 23.6% lower than the year-ago period, on account of lower sales volume, higher sales promotion expenses, and higher depreciation, partially offset by cost reduction efforts, higher fair value gains on invested surplus and reduction in corporate tax rate, Maruti Suzuki said.

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