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Astra's Q1 profit falls 2% amid lower car sales


INDONESIAN conglomerate PT Astra International Tbk posted a 2 per cent decline in first-quarter net profit amid lower automotive sales, the company said.

Astra's net profit for the quarter fell to 4.98 trillion rupiah (S$474 million) from 5.08 trillion rupiah in the year-earlier period.

Income from its automotive, finance and agribusiness units fell, while growing income from its mining-related business helped soften the blow, Astra said in a statement.

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Astra's car sales in the first quarter fell 12 per cent from a year earlier, underperforming the national car sales growth of 3 per cent.

The automotive business, which includes distribution of Toyota cars, traditionally makes up over 40 per cent of Astra's total income.

Meanwhile, PT United Tractors, Astra's heavy equipment and mining unit, posted a 69 per cent growth in profit, partly due to higher coal prices.

"Astra Group is expected to continue to benefit from stable coal prices, while competition in the car market is expected to continue rising," said Prijono Sugiarto, Astra's president director, in the statement. REUTERS