Auto parts’ maker Bosch Ltd net profit for the fourth quarter last year dropped nearly 39 per cent to Rs 172 crore.

The world’s largest auto parts’ maker attributed lower net profit to higher depreciation, unfavourable exchange rate and sliding auto sales. Steffen Berns, Managing Director, who recently took over from V.K. Vishwanathan, told a news conference on Wednesday that the company is “approaching 2013 with cautious optimism and with tight cost control until we see signs of improvement”.

He said exports too, declined because of Euro zone crisis.

For the fourth quarter, total sales grew by nearly five per cent to Rs 2,012 crore. For the entire year, net profit was lower by nearly 15 per cent to Rs 958 crore on the back of total sales of Rs 9,020 crore, which grew 6.3 per cent.

Berns said in spite of lower net, Bosch will continue to invest as much as it did during the previous year which was about Rs 600 crore. Most of the investments will go towards building a new plant near Bangalore, which will take over from the existing plant in the city.

He said vehicle market in India was slowing down. Last year, production of all types of vehicles grew about 2.3 per cent to 5.3 million units. In the sector, sales of tractor as well as medium and heavy vehicles, which contribute substantially to Bosch top line, declined sharply. However, passenger car and utility vehicles grew 7.6 per cent for the same year.

The company’s board has recommended a dividend of Rs 60 a share for last year.

Bosch’s shares dropped nearly one per cent to close at Rs 8821.5.

(This article was published on February 27, 2013)
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