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Malaysian carmaker Proton reports fifth straight quarterly loss

Malaysian carmaker Proton reports fifth straight quarterly loss

Malaysian national carmaker Proton on Tuesday reported its fifth straight quarterly loss as a slight rise in sales was offset by steep price discounting.
In the quarter ended June 30, Proton posted a loss of 46.75 million ringgit (US$13 million; euro9.5 million), smaller than the 58.6 million ringgit loss incurred a year earlier, it said in a statement.
Proton sold 28,145 units in the first fiscal quarter, compared with 27,797 a year earlier.
Revenue fell 20 percent on-year to 1.14 billion ringgit (US$326 million; euro239 million) for the quarter due to intensifying competition, marked by heavy promotion and discounts, it said.
Proton said cheaper used cars and stricter financing terms will likely continue to damp overall vehicle sales in the country but it expects its recently launched Persona sedan to boost its sales for the current financial year. It didn't provide any forecast.
It said it will continue cost-cutting measures and focus on boosting exports especially to Iran, Indonesia and Thailand.
"The group's effort to rationalize operations, streamline resources and network and implement other measures for greater efficiency as well as the introduction of new models will hold the group in good stead for the rest of the financial year," the statement said.
Proton's market share has slid to 23 percent, from around 60 percent five years ago. Overall, vehicle sales in Malaysia _ which is Southeast Asia's largest passenger car market _ has weakened, falling 12 percent on-year to 220,739 units in the first half of 2007.
Proton is in talks with Germany's Volkswagen AG and General Motors Corp. of the U.S. about a possible alliance to turn around its fortunes, with a deal expected to be reached by the end of the year.
For years, Proton thrived in a protected environment in which high duties were imposed on imported vehicles, forcing many Malaysians to buy Proton cars. But duties have been slowly lowered in line with a regional trade agreement, and more Malaysians are buying imported vehicles.


Updated : 2021-04-13 03:51 GMT+08:00