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India's Tata Motors says profit falls after domestic sales drop

[NEW DELHI] Tata Motors Ltd, India's biggest automaker by revenue, on Friday reported a 7.1 per cent drop in its second quarter profit, missing analysts estimate after weaker sales in its domestic business.

Net profit fell to 32.91 billion rupees (US$533 million) in the second quarter ended Sep 30 from 35.42 billion rupees a year earlier, Tata said. Revenue rose 6.5 per cent to 601.64 billion rupees.

Excluding exports, sales of its commercial and passenger vehicles fell 15.7 per cent during the quarter versus last year.

Tata Motors has been reliant on sales by luxury British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which it bought in 2008, to prop up profits for the past few years.

Analysts on average expected the company to post a profit of 46.2 billion rupees and revenue of 634.28 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.