Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra posted a smaller-than-expected rise in third-quarter profit on Wednesday as weak demand for its profit-boosting tractors offset strong sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales.

The 'Scorpio' SUV-maker's standalone profit after tax rose 60.6% to 24.54 billion rupees ($295 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, missing analysts' estimate of 25.12 billion rupees. ($1 = 83.0712 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Varun Vyas and Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)