The logo of Maruti Suzuki India Limited
The logo of Maruti Suzuki India Limited is seen on a glass door at a showroom in New Delhi, India, February 29, 2016.REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo [Representational Image]

Maruti Suzuki India, whose iconic Maruti 800 nearly four decades ago helped spur car ownership in the country, posted on Thursday a 9.8 percent drop in quarterly net profit, but beat analysts' estimates helped by its cost-cutting efforts.

Net profit at India's top-selling car maker fell to 22.40 billion rupees ($305.76 million) in the quarter ended Sept 30 from 24.84 billion rupees last year as higher crude oil prices and a weakening rupee weighed on consumer demand.

The New Delhi-based automaker's profit fell for the first time in 18 quarters on a year-on-year basis.

Twenty one analysts on average forecast a profit of 20.28 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv estimates.

The Indian unit of Japanese car maker Suzuki Motor Corp sold 484,848 vehicles during the quarter, down 1.5 percent from a year earlier. Sales at home fell 0.4 percent to 455,400 units in the same period.

Maruti's vehicles include the Alto 800 hatchback, sedans like Ciaz and the S-Cross SUV. The automaker provides the bulk of Suzuki's revenue, and has a market value more than that of its parent at around $28 billion.

Shares of Maruti were down 1.5 percent at 0843 GMT, versus a 0.9 percent fall in the broader market.

($1 = 73.2600 rupees)