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A Mahindra XUV500 is pictured at the assembly line inside the company's manufacturing plant in Chakan, India, September 30, 2016. Mahindra is likely to report sharp drop in volume sales, according to Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities.Reuters file

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd on Tuesday said fourth-quarter profit surged over 70 percent, slightly above estimates.

Standalone profit after tax, which does not include share of profit from its unit Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd, stood at 10.59 billion rupees ($155.90 million) for the quarter ended March 31, compared with 6.22 billion rupees a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected a quarterly profit of 10.45 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Revenue from operations grew 10.5 percent to 133.08 billion rupees.

Earlier, the Indian automaker opened its first assembly plant in South Africa, which it sees as a launchpad to export vehicles to the rest of the continent, the chief executive of its local business said.

The new modular assembly plant, which imports car parts and builds the final product, is located in the east coast city of Durban. It will have an annual capacity of 2,500 Pik Up trucks which could be increased to assemble up to 4,000 Mahindra vehicles each year.

India's top-selling utility vehicle maker will compete against rivals with existing plants in South Africa, whose export-focused auto manufacturing sector has attracted billions of dollars of investment from the likes of BMW, Ford, VW and Toyota to expand and upgrade factories.

"The last five years was a wonderful time for us," said Rajesh Gupta, chief executive of Mahindra SA.

(Source: Reuters)