By Kosaku Narioka

Maruti Suzuki India's third-quarter net profit rose from a year earlier as sales grew and margin improved.

The Indian unit of Japan's Suzuki Motor said Wednesday that net profit climbed 33% from a year earlier to 32.07 billion rupees ($385.8 million) for the three months ended Dec. 31.

Third-quarter revenue increased 15% from a year earlier to INR335.13 billion as sales rose 7.6% to 501,207 units, led by sport utility vehicles.

Its net profit margin improved to 9.8% from 8.4% a year earlier, thanks to a drop in commodity prices, improved capacity utilization and cost cuts.

Exports grew 16% to 71,785 vehicles--the highest-ever in any quarter--as Maruti expands its lineup of vehicles for markets outside India.

Write to Kosaku Narioka at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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