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Weaker rupiah, higher competition hurt Jardine C&C's Q1 profit

Jardine Cycle & Carriage on Wednesday reported a 18 per cent drop in net profit to US$178 million for its first quarter ended March 31, 2015.

The automotive group's revenue fell 14 per cent to US$4.02 billion; earnings per share fell 18 per cent to 50.07 US cents.

Chairman Ben Keswick blamed Indonesia's slower economic growth, depressed commodity markets and increased competition in the car sector.

At the same time, a weaker rupiah exchange rate continues to reduce Astra International's contribution, he said.

Jardine C&C has an interest of just over 50 per cent in Astra, an Indonesian automotive group.

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In the quarter, Astra's car sales fell by 21 per cent to 137,000 units, with its market share decreasing to 49 per cent from 53 per cent on weaker demand due to an economic slowdown and the lack of meaningful new product launches. Discounting in the car market caused by manufacturing overcapacity also hurt its earnings.

The wholesale market for motorcycles also fell 19 per cent to 1.6 million units. Astra Honda Motor's sales fell 13 per cent to 1.1 million units, with its market share increasing to 68 per cent however.

The board has not declared a dividend for the first quarter.

Its shares fell 22 cents to S$40.62 on the stock market on Wednesday.

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