Corporate Sector
The corporate sector has witnessed robust financial performance during the half year ended (April-September) 2006-07, despite higher input costs impinging on profit margins. The increase in raw material cost has been much higher than all other components of operating and non-operating expenses during April-September 2006-07. Rising input costs such as raw material, power and crude oil is expected to be a major challenge to be coped with by all sectors. This is significant because the increasing share of raw materials costs in total expenditure not only reduces profit margins but also affects the competitiveness of companies. Then again, riding high on increasing profits, Indian corporates have become more liberal in their dividend payouts, companies like TCS, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Satyam Computers, HLL, Gujarat Ambuja Cements, Ranbaxy, etc, have paid sizeable interim dividends during the half- year ended Sectoral Corporate Performance during Q2 (July-September) 2006
The buoyancy exhibited by the corporate sector during the second quarter of 2006-07, albeit rising cost of inputs, has arisen from the vibrantly growing manufacturing and services sectors in the country. Corporate performance has continued to be impressive in terms of the growth in sales and post-tax profits. This section covers industry specific reviews of metals, capital goods, shipping, pharmaceuticals and information technology companies. Metals
Several metal companies have reported exceptional financial performance for the second quarter ended September 2006 with all companies reporting healthy revenue growth (Table 11.1). Buoyed by higher metal prices, non-ferrous companies have reported a surge in revenues and post-tax earnings. National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) has reported a more than two- fold rise in earnings on the back of a strong performance of its alumina division. Hindalco, Nalco, Hindustan Zinc and Tata Steel are among the most cost efficient producers in the world. Table 11.1: Financial Performance of Metal Companies (Rs crore)
Despite softening steel prices and spiralling cost of raw materials, Tata Steel has reported a 5.4 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 1,101 crore. The company's steel production has touched 12.57 lakh tonnes against 12.08 lakh tonnes while export turnover has dipped by 13 per cent to Rs 545.95 crore from Rs 629.33 crore. Hindalco Industries Limited, the flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, has posted an outstanding growth for the quarter under review on the back of higher production volumes. Its net sales have grown by 74 per cent to Rs 4,634 crore and net profit has galloped by 116 per cent during July-September 2006 from 10 per cent over the same period a year ago. At the same time, a significant increase in the ratio of raw material costs to total operating expenses has been observed in case of Hindalco at 42 per cent in first half of 2006-07 from 32.5 per cent in the equivalent period of 2005-06. However, some companies have successfully contained their raw material costs; SAIL’s input costs have come down to 51.8 per cent during H1 of 2006-07 from 56.9 per cent over the same period a year ago. The company has achieved a 28 per cent growth in net profit for the quarter ended September 2006 at Rs 1,442 crore and the highest ever first-half net profit growth of 22 per cent to Rs 2,829 crore. The company has also achieved highest-ever saleable steel production of 6.01 million tonnes, a rise of 6 per cent. India’s leading zinc producer, Hindustan Zinc’s net profit has surged a phenomenal 562 per cent to Rs 1,298 crore for the quarter ended September 2006, primarily owing to higher Capital Goods
A strong engineering and capital goods sector, integral to the country’s ind ustrial growth, has been on a vibrant growth trajectory. The buoyant performance has continued with domestic order inflows showing no signs of easing while overseas demand has been on the uptrend. Profit margins have improved as new contracts have been executed and economies of scale have been achieved. This has also been exhibited in the robust performance of the capital goods sector in Table 11.2: Financial Performance of Capital Goods Companies (Rs crore)
Engineering and construction major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has reported a 40 per cent increase in net profit during quarter ended September 2006 as against a decline of 10 per cent over the same period a year ago. The healthy growth has driven mainly by its engineering and construction segment, which has recorded a growth of 15 per cent in order bookings at Rs 4,631 crore. Thermax Limited, a leading player in the energy and environment sectors, has reported a strong 26 per cent increase in sales at Rs 469 crore. The company’s net Profit for the quarter has been only marginally higher at Rs 35.1 crore after providing Rs 23.1 crore towards financial obligations and diminution in value of investments relating mainly to the company’s loss marking subsidiary ME Engineering, UK. The company has continued to receive major orders from the iron and steel, cement, sugar and the refining sectors. Its order backlog at end September 2006 has been higher by 144 per cent at Rs 2,659 crore. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), the country's largest power equipment supplier, has posted a healthy 33 per cent growth in sales revenue at Rs 3,341 crore on the back of a strong order book position. Its power division’s sales revenue has risen by 28.7 per cent at Rs 2,714 crore during the quarter under review while its industry division has posted an increase of 34 per cent in sales revenue at Shipping
The Indian shipping companies have reported a remarkable performance during the quarter under review, following an insalubrious performance during the first quarter (April-June) of 2006-07. We can clearly see from Table 11.3 that the second quarter of the current fiscal year has brought significantly higher earnings for shipping companies compared to the second quarter of the previous year. For shipping companies, the freight market being generally soft between July and September, earnings of shipping companies are usually low during this period. But, Indian shipping companies have posted higher earnings in the second quarter of this fiscal year, due to an un-seasonally strong freight market, especially in the tanker segment. Table 11.3: Financial Performance of Shipping Companies (Rs crore)
India’s leading shipper, Shipping Corporation of India Limited (SCI) has reported a strong growth of 37 per cent in sales revenue at Rs 1,014 crore for the quarter ended September 2006. The bulk segment, which includes crude and product tankers, dry bulk carriers, gas carriers and phosphoric acid carriers, has accounted for a sales revenue of Rs 853.7 crore from Rs 566.3 crore a year ago, an increase of 50 per cent. SCI has also been able to leverage better freight rates in the key tanker segment during second quarter of 2006; for instance, the average spot VLCC rate (ships used to transport crude oil from West Asia to refiners in the West) has stood at $ 57,332 per day from $ 51,200 per day a year earlier. Great Eastern (GE) Shipping Company has reported a higher 32 per cent growth in net profit for the quarter ended September 2006 from a rise of 6 per cent over the same period a year ago, primarily driven by increased tanker earnings, higher profits from inchartered tonnage and lower dry docking and repair costs. The company’s current fleet of 39 vessels comprises 30 tankers and 9 drybulk carriers. Varun Shipping Company has posted a 5 per cent increase in net profit for the quarter under review against a healthy 104 per cent increase over the same period a year ago. The company has drawn up Rs 2,000 crore for its fleet expansion (tankers and gas carriers) and modernisation programme. The company has a fleet of 17 vessels, including 10 fully refrigerated LPG carriers and 2 Aframax crude oil tankers; it owns only 2 single hull vessels. Essar Shipping has reported significant growth in sales and profit during July-September 2006. The company's freight rates in the tanker segment have remained volatile during the period under review with higher availability of vessels. In the bulk segment, even though freight rates remained high, the higher bunker prices have led to higher operating costs. The company owns 27 vessels, including VLCCs, tankers and bulk carriers. Shreyas shipping has reported a decline of 34 per cent in net profit at Rs 5.5 crore due to higher interest payment and overall expenditure. Pharmaceuticals
A growth in the formulations business in both domestic and global markets and high revenues from exclusivities in the US generic market have led the pharmaceutical companies to post impressive revenue growth during July-September 2006. The principle beneficiaries of the generic boom have been Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Ranbaxy and Cipla. Table 11.4: Financial Performance of Pharmaceutical Companies (Rs crore)
Ranbaxy has reported a 26 per cent sales growth in the US market at Rs 435 crore in the quarter under review. The company’s generic version of Merck’s drug continues to enjoy a 50 per cent share in the generic segment in the US, as a result its net profit has surged to Rs 97.3 crore as indicated in Table 11.4 Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) has reported a significant growth of 57 per cent in net sales for the quarter ended September 2006 from 25 per cent over the same period a year ago. The company’s consolidated sales revenue has galloped by 239 per cent to Rs 1,982 crore, boosted mainly by authorised generic sales for two drugs, namely, Zocor and Proscar that have contributed Rs 751 crore to total revenues, while the recently acquired company German Betapharm has added another Rs 281 crore. Higher sales in the domestic market and strong sales performance in the Brazilian, Russian and Chinese markets have helped Cipla to register a strong 33 per cent growth in sales revenue as compared to 15 per cent over the same period a year ago. Excise benefits from the production facility at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh, along with growth in the domestic market have contributed to the 131 per cent growth in net profit of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals at Rs 32 crore for the quarter ended September 2006. On a consolidated basis, Glenmark’s Latin American operations have earned a revenue of Rs 27 crore reflecting an increase of 162 per cent while exports of branded formulation have brought in revenue of Rs 53 crore, a growth of 81 per cent. Information Technology
India has emerged as the fastest growing IT hub in the world; the country’s growth has been dominated by IT software and IT enabled services. IT sector has continue to remain buoyant in the second quarter of 2006; the four giants, TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Satyam have again registered even higher double-digit growth in revenues and profit due to sizable outsourcing business, largely from US and Europe. Table 11.5: Financial Performance of IT Companies (Rs crore)
Supported by a strong growth in international revenue, India’s leading software company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has posted a 46 per cent increase in sales revenue at Rs 3,664 crore. On a consolidated basis, the company has earned a net profit of Rs 1,019 crore, a rise of 15.4 per cent over 2005-06. It has also added 58 new clients and 8,919 employees during the period under review. Fuelled by a 10 per cent year-on- year jump in operating margins of its BPO business and a 37 per cent growth of its global IT business, Wipro Technologies has reported a 46.8 per cent increase in net profit during July-September 2006 from a rise of 22.4 per cent over the same period a year ago. The company has added 54 new clients during the quarter under review. The company's profitable growth has been mainly driven by strong international demand and an increasing number of large customers. Compact disc manufacturer, Moser Baer India has posted an over eight-fold increase in net profit at Rs 26 crore for the quarter ended September 2006 as compared to Rs 3.1 crore for the same quarter a year ago. An improving pricing cycle in CDR and robust growth in DVDR have been the major growth drivers. Corporate Investment Scenario
Capital investments by Indian companies have risen sharply over the last two years. Investment is essential for modernisation of productive capacity and adding new capacity for current and future industrial growth. To support our argument of robust growth in investments we summarises CMIE’s investment survey and RBI’s investment study in the subsequent CMIE’s 47th investment survey has covered 11,578 projects with a total investment of Rs 37,60,506 crore. A surge in investment has been mainly driven by capital expenditure (capex) incurred on enhancing manufacturing capacities of plants and spending on infrastructure. Over the past two years, various automobile, textile, steel, non- ferrous metal and cement companies have been constantly expanding there manufacturing capacities. At the end of the quarter ending October 2006, the manufacturing sector has recorded 3,187 projects envisaging investments of Rs 10,54,746 crore. During the quarter under review, 5996 projects have been announced at an investment of Rs 18,67,363 crore. There have been new announcements in the infrastructure sector by three cement majors namely, Grasim Industries, Ultratech Cement and Lafarge India. Grasim Industries project of setting two new cement plants worth Rs 1200 crore each at Himachal Pradesh and Orissa has been the largest one. Also, in the steel sector, Welspun Power and Steel’s 3 million tonne Orissa steel project of Rs 5308 crore has been a major announcement. A sharp growth in investment has also been boosted by corporates towards the development of special economic zones (SEZ); several companies have been granted government’s approval to set up SEZ’s. Amongst them, Reliance Industries will be investing Rs 36,359 crore for setting two SEZs in Maharashtra, Rs 40,000 crore for Haryana and Rs 27,000 crore for its petrochemical SEZ in Gujarat. DLF has investment plans of over Rs 31,000 crore in four units at Amritsar, Ambala, Ludhiana and Gurgaon. Other companies, like Hindalco Industries and Hindustan Petroleum, would invest over Rs 10,000 each to set up SEZs in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, respectively. Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) study on ‘Corporate Investments: Growth in 2005-06 and Prospects for 2006-07’ also confirms robust growth in investments. The study attempts to capture in some detail, growth of fixed capital investment in the private corporate sector during 2005-06 based on the projects sanctioned for assistance by banks and financial institutions during 2005-06 and the previous years. According to the study there has been a buoyant growth in investment by corporate sector during 2005-06 over 2004-05. The corporate sector had undertaken various expansion, modernisation, acquisition and upgradation plans requiring a great Capital expenditure of Rs 40,582 crore is expected to have been incurred during 2005-06 in case of projects sanctioned up to 2004-05. Thus, the total capital expenditure that might have been incurred during 2005-06 amounts to Rs 82,450 crore. The capital expenditure planned by the private corporate sector during 2005-06 is likely to have risen by 7.9 per cent as compared with the rise of 60.4 per cent in 2004-05. The projects are divided into four industries, namely, power, metal and metal products, textiles and services; all together they have accounted for 67.6 per cent of the total project expenditure in 2005-06 as compared with 54.8 per cent in the previous year. The infrastructure industry has captured a substantial share of 31.6 per cent in the aggregate cost of projects in 2005-06, slightly lower when compared with that of 33.3 per cent in 2004-05. The share of the telecom sector has declined significantly to 2.6 per cent in 2005-06 (from 16.9 per cent in 2004-05), whereas that of power sector has increased significantly to 26.3 per cent in 2005-06 from 13.2 per cent in the previous year. The aggregate capital expenditure of services industry has increased substantially to Rs 19,669 crore in 2005-06 against Rs 4,201 crore in 2004-05 due to the presence of very large projects belonging to the airlines, shipping and entertainment industries. Finally, the turnaround in the growth rate of corporate investment, which began in 2002-03 and peaked in 2004-05, is expected to be sustained in 2006-07. Mergers and Acquisitions during the Month
IT and BPO services provider Hexaware Technologies has acquired US based testing services company FocusFrame for $ 34.3 million in all cash deal. With this acquisition, Hexaware will now enter the European and American markets. Hexaware plans to increase its revenues to $ 100 million in three years time. India’s largest pharma communication solutions company Indegene Lifesystems has acquired MedCases Inc, a leading medical e- learning solutions company in the US at an undisclosed amount. Indegene has already built up a strong network in the US and other countries globally in the fast growing pharma communication and promotion services space. Since communication services outsourcing is a fast emerging concept in the world pharmaceutical industry, Indegene has almost all the big pharmaceutical companies among its Thomas Cook India Limited (TCIL), the country’s leading travel and tourism company, has acquired 100 per cent shares in Travel Corporation India (TCI) for Rs 182.45 crore. This has been the second acquisition of TCIL, after it acquired LKP Forex in June 2006 for the

Source: http://www.epwrf.res.in/upload/MER/mer10611011.pdf

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