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In Focus: Cruising Along

Competition may make the ride bumpy for Bajaj Auto, though

Bajaj Auto is cruising on the fast lane. The recent launches, like Discover and Avenger, have helped the company race ahead of its competitors. The popularity of Pulsar and CT 100 models have boosted Bajaj Auto's sales to new levels. The company managed to beat market expectations by clocking a 29 per cent increase in its two- and three-wheeler sales in April 2006. The recently-launched 100cc model, Platina, is likely to boost sales further.

Higher sales and value-added products jacked up net profit by 69 per cent in the fourth quarter of FY 06 to Rs 346.97 crore against Rs 204.63 crore in the previous corresponding period. Total income for the quarter stood at Rs 2,268.95 crore (Rs 1,761.15 crore).

Apart from the new launches and increasing demand of its popular models, the insurance business and overseas expansion have added to the topline. Sales of three-wheelers registered a growth of 9 per cent due to increase in demand for LPG & CNG models. The company is quite bullish on the global front too. It expects better margins from rapidly growing exports.

A slew of new launches from competitors like TVS Motor and Hero Honda may make the ride bumpy for the company. The entry of Suzuki will further intensify competition.