JLR's record gives boost to parent Tata

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MUNICH -- Jaguar Land Rover's strong fourth-quarter performance helped the automaker achieve record profits in its fiscal year ended March 31, providing a bright spot for owner Tata Motors, which saw loses at its car and truck business in India widen.

Jaguar Land Rover's quarterly net profit increased to 449 million pounds (about $752 million) from 377 million pounds, it said. For the full year, JLR's net profit was a record 1.9 billion pounds, up from 1.2 billion pounds during its 2012-2013 business year. 

Quarterly deliveries gained 8 percent to 124,776 at JLR spurred by demand in China, while the automaker's full-year sales climbed 16 percent to a record 434,311 vehicles in the 12 months ended March.

Sales of Jaguars and Land Rovers rose 34 percent in China to 103,077 in the fiscal year ended March 31. That was more than JLR sold in North America and Europe over the same period, according to the company's Web site.

JLR expects to start operating a new plant in China later this year that will reduce the strain on its plants in Britain and ensure it has the capacity to meet growing demand.

By comparison, Tata's Indian business unit reported a net loss of 8.17 billion rupees ($138 million) in the quarter, compared with a 3.12 billion rupee loss a year earlier.

"I'm not expecting any miracles from the domestic business of Tata Motors," Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said before the earnings announcement. "The domestic business has slipped a lot and will continue to underperform for the next one or two quarters."

The struggles contributed to the company's consolidated fourth-quarter profit dipping to 39.2 billion rupees from 39.5 billion rupees during the same period the year before, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Despite the difficult quarter, Tata's Indian business unit reported a 3.4 billion rupee fiscal-year profit and Tata Motors finished the business year with a net profit of  139.9 billion rupees, up from 98.9 billion rupees in its previous fiscal year.

Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report

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