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Rediff.com  » Business » Maruti aims to cut forex exposure to $600m

Maruti aims to cut forex exposure to $600m

September 24, 2012 16:53 IST
With adverse currency movements affecting margins, car market leader Maruti Suzuki India said it is targeting to reduce its forex exposure by nearly 65 per cent to $600 million by March 2015 for which it is working with its vendors to reduce imports.

Besides, the company is looking out for new markets to increase exports of its products to mitigate impact of unfavourable foreign exchange fluctuations.

"The adverse currency movements are affecting us. We are trying to reduce our net forex exposure to $0.6 billion by 2014-15 fiscal from about $1.7 billion at present," said Maruti Suzuki India Chief Financial Officer Ajay Seth.

The company's current foreign currency exposure, along with its vendors, due to import is $2.5 billion, he added.

"We have identified 14-15 vendors, whose import content is very high, and requested them to reduce it. We are also providing them all helps in more localisation of their products. Our target is to bring down the import content to $1.8 billion in the next three years," Seth said.

On the export front, the company's exposure at present is around $800 million.

"We are constantly looking at newer markets for expanding our exports. We are aiming to increase our exports to $1.2 billion by 2014-15," Seth said.

Hit by rupee depreciation and higher overall expenses, MSI had reported 22.84 per cent decline in its net profit to Rs 423.77 crore (Rs 4.23 billion) for the quarter ended June 30 this year.

Rupee has devalued this year drastically and crossed Rs 56 against each dollar. However, on the back of robust capital inflows and persistent dollar selling by exporters and some banks, the rupee today rose by 35 paise to over four-month high of 53.10 against the American currency.

Commenting on MSI's endeavour to reduce forex exposure, analyst firm Motilal Oswal said: "The management indicated that this is the highest priority of the company and progress of which is monitored at the board level."

The management is focused on lowering forex exposure over the next three years and it expects at least 25-30 per cent savings on localised components, it added.

"The key components targeted for localisation are diesel engine and transmission components," Motilal Oswal said.

According to the analyst, MSI has now set localization targets for the vendors, who have very high import content, unlike in the past where it used to compensate them for adverse forex movement.

"Led by higher exports and increased localisation, margins are expected to rise by about 10 per cent by FY'16," it said.

Shares of MSI were trading 3.23 per cent up at Rs 1,355.20 apiece on the BSE on Monday afternoon.

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