Shares of truck maker Ashok Leyland fell as much as 2% on Wednesday after the company's net profit plunged 17% year-on-year to ₹751 crore for the quarter ended March.

The automaker's stock opened marginally higher at ₹154.90 against its previous closing price of ₹152.20. However, Ashok Leyland shares soon fell 2% to ₹149.20 apiece on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The company's market capitalisation stood at ₹43,821 crore.

The flagship company of the Hinduja Group clocked a 33% year-on-year growth in revenue at ₹11,626 crore for the fourth quarter compared with ₹8,744 crore for the same period last year.

The automaker's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) was at 11% as against 8.9% last year.

Ashok Leyland's truck market share for Q4 2022-23 has improved to 32.7% vis à vis 30.6% in Q4 FY22. Bus market share for Q4 FY23 has improved to 27.1% as against 26.4% for the same period last year. Its domestic Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) volumes grew by 18% in Q4 FY23 to 18,840 units.

This performance was backed by the successful AVTR range of trucks and the launch of the CNG range in Intermediate Commercial Vehicles (ICVs), said Ashok Leyland.

Going forward, last-mile connectivity demand propelled by e-commerce is likely to support LCV truck volumes, the company said.

Revenue for the full year was at ₹36,144 crore in FY23 compared with ₹21,688 crore in the previous year. Net profit jumped more than two-fold to ₹1,380 crore in FY23 as against a profit of ₹542 crore in FY22. Full-year EBITDA was at 8.1% as against 4.6% last year. Cash generated during the quarter was ₹2287 crore and net cash surplus was ₹243 crore as against a net debt of ₹720 crore for the same period last year.

"The CV industry is buoyant due to favourable macroeconomic factors and a healthy demand from the end-user industries. This trend is expected to continue alongside growth in core sectors such as construction & mining, agriculture, increased capital outlay for infrastructure projects and pent-up replacement demand," said Dheeraj Hinduja, executive chairman, Ashok Leyland.

"The focus on International Operations, Defence, Power Solutions and Parts businesses will continue to balance the volatility of our core business. With momentum gradually picking up in electric vehicles, Switch Mobility is well poised to complement the developments at Ashok Leyland across a spectrum of alternate propulsion systems," Hinduja said.

The board of Ashok Leyland recommended a dividend of ₹2.60 per equity share for the financial year ended March 31, 2023, to the shareholders.

"We have been able to achieve growth in market share, across geographies and across product segments, along with significant improvement in our profitability," said Shenu Agarwal, managing director and CEO, Ashok Leyland.

"While we shall continue to pursue better realisations even as we expand market share, our resolute focus shall remain on bringing deeper efficiency and cost improvement. We have generated close to INR 2287 Cr of cash this quarter owing to better profits and focused management of working capital, which gives us ability to further accelerate our investment in future products and technologies," Agarwal added.

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