Mumbai: Bajaj Auto has declared its highest-ever turnover of Rs 50.7 billion, 15 per cent higher than Rs 44.03 billion, for FY 2001-02.
The two-wheeler giant also announced its highest-ever operating profit (EBITDA) of Rs 8.17 billion, up by 31 per cent over the previous financial year. The board of directors of the company has recommended a dividend of 140 per cent at Rs 14 per share. The dividend paid in the previous year was also Rs 14 per share (140 per cent).
Sales and other operating income at Rs 48.95 billion grew at 16 per cent compared with Rs 42.21 billion in FY 2001-02. The gross profit after interest but before depreciation and taxation for FY 2002-03 at Rs 9.59 billion was higher at 25 per cent as compared to Rs 7.67 billion in FY 2001-02.
The profit after tax for FY 2002-03 at Rs 5.38 billion was marginally higher compared to Rs 5.21 billion in FY 2001-02.
The total number of vehicles sold crossed 1, 445,773 in 2002-03 as compared to 1,358,980 in 2001-02. Over 0.5 million Boxers were sold during the year. The Pulsar, a runaway hit from the day it was launched, continued to dominate the premium segment of the motorcycle market, with over 1,80,000 sold in the current year.
In the crucial executive segment, the Caliber 115 (Hoodibabaa), launched recently in March 2003, sold over 25,000 numbers in the very first month of its launch. According to Rajiv Bajaj, joint managing director, Bajaj Auto, the really 'big' news is that the company has decided to reduce its dependence on discounts and other promotional schemes in response to similar marketing promotions launched by competitors and instead focus on noticeable improvements in technical features and price/performance ratios which would offer their customers dramatic increases in value for money.
"This has already been demonstrated by the success of the Pulsar and the Calibre which have both raised the benchmark for engine capacity versus horse power and mileage ratios. This benchmark will be further raised within the next few months with the launch of the 'world bike' jointly developed with the Kawasaki. A brand new engine is also ready for launch, which incorporates technology that will be used for the first time in the world," he said.
This new engine will improve further the already impressive engine capacity / horse power / mileage ratio showcased in the Pulsar by up to 20 per cent. The incremental cost increase per bike for this new engine technology will be only around Rs 2000, he said, compared to almost Rs 10,000 per bike for adding a fuel-injection system.
The company continued as the clear market leader in the three-wheeler segment with a 92.7-per cent market share and a growth of 21 per cent over the previous year. A new goods carrier, the GC-1000 was launched in March 2003 and was received well in the market. Exports have also gone up by 121 per cent to 3.52 billion in FY 2002-03 compared with Rs 1.59 billion in FY 2001-02. The total number of two- and three-wheelers were 94,241 in FY 2002-03 as compared to 44,311 in 2002-03, an increase of 113 per cent, making Bajaj Auto the No 1 exporter of two- and three-wheelers in the country.