GURGAON, India (Jan. 19, 2009)—A big decline in the domestic market caused an 11.2-percent slump in sales and a big falloff in net profits in the third quarter for Apollo Tyres Ltd.
The Indian tire maker said cutbacks in vehicle production resulted in a nearly 43-percent decline in OE sales, while demand for commercial vehicle tires also fell sharply. On the plus side, aftermarket passenger tire demand grew 11 percent compared with last year's third quarter, and exports jumped 37 percent.
Apollo reported consolidated revenue of $226.4 million for the three-month period. Aftertax profits fell to $1.83 million from $16.8 million a year ago.
Despite the softening of crude oil and natural rubber prices since September, raw material costs still were 35 percent higher for the quarter than the year-ago period, Apollo said.
Onkar S. Kanwar, chairman and managing director of the company, said Apollo's results reflect the difficulties of the automotive market for the past six months. However, he said the firm expects gradual improvement.