Jaguar Land Rover helps parent Tata triple Q1 profit

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MUMBAI, India (Bloomberg) -- Jaguar Land Rover's surging retail sales and profit helped parent Tata Motors triple its first-quarter net income, more than making up for a drop in domestic sales.

Tata's profit surged to 54 billion rupees ($882 million) in the fiscal first quarter ended June 30 from 17.26 billion rupees a year ago, the Mumbai-based company reported.

Earnings were boosted by contributions from Jaguar Land Rover, where pre-tax profit more than doubled to 924 million pounds ($1.6 billion) from 415 million pounds during the same period last year.

JLR was helped by demand for the Jaguar F-Type convertible and Range Rover SUVs. Deliveries at the automaker climbed 22 percent in the quarter to 115,596 vehicles, the company said in a statement Monday.

The luxury unit is helping buoy Tata Motors, which is struggling to revive profitability of the Indian business that sells Tata-brand cars, buses and trucks. Tata Motors acquired the UK-based automakers in 2008.

“Jaguar Land Rover is performing quite well,” said Juergen Maier, a fund manager at Raiffeisen Capital Management in Vienna. “The next big thing to watch out for will be the XE that will take on the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C class.”

The XE mid-sized sports sedan, to be unveiled in London Sept. 8, will be the only car in its segment to be built on an aluminum platform. The XE also will feature four-cylinder, 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel engines, according to the carmaker.

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