India's biggest carmaker by sales, Maruti Suzuki, said on Monday quarterly profits rose by 0.5 percent, beating market forecasts, as strong sales helped counter higher input costs.
Maruti, 54 percent owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor, said net profit rose to 6.6 billion rupees ($148.3 million) in its fiscal fourth quarter to March from 6.56 billion rupees a year earlier.
Revenues jumped 20 percent to 98.63 billion rupees as Maruti sold 343,340 cars and sport-utility vehicles during the three months, a leap of 19.5 percent from a year earlier.
However, profit for the full-year fell 8.4 percent to 22.9 billion rupees even as sales jumped 25 percent to 361.28 billion rupees, the New Delhi-based company said in a statement.
"The company's profit was impacted by adverse currency movements, particularly on exports, higher commodity prices and new model launches," Maruti said.
The results from Maruti, battling mounting competition from India's second-largest carmaker, South Korea's Hyundai, and other rivals, beat market forecasts that profit would be around 6.1 billion rupees.
Maruti shares rose 1.53 percent to 1,326.55 rupees on the turnaround in the company's fourth-quarter performance which came after profit fell 26 percent in the third quarter.
During the year, the company's earnings were hit by surging prices of steel, rubber and other raw materials, higher royalty payments to Maruti's parent and a firmer yen against the rupee.
India's fast-growing automobile market has become increasingly vital to Suzuki with a big chunk of its earnings coming from Maruti.
Vehicle sales for the fiscal year ended March 31 climbed 25 percent to a record 1.27 million units.
India is one of the few countries where car sales are fast increasing thanks to new affluence among India's burgeoning middle class, estimated at 350 million people.