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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

India Inc earnings: Upgrades aplenty, but margins a concern

The concerns are the shortage of key components plaguing the auto sector, the rising cost of energy, input inflation in general and the high attrition at IT firms.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
November 15, 2021 12:47:45 am
India inc, Mahindra, FMCG firms, FMCG, India news, Indian express, Indian express news, current affairsThe trends that are comforting analysts include the big hiring plans of IT firms, the strong property sales, the pick-up in volumes at FMCG firms and the robust increase in home loans. (Representational)

It’s been a splendid earnings season with surprises outnumbering disappointments and prompting analysts to upgrade earnings estimates for a fair number of companies. On a rough reckoning, brokerages have upped FY22 profit estimates for at least 50 per cent of the companies they track. That’s not surprising because management commentary on demand has been reasonably optimistic; order books are filling up, hotels and malls are open and travel has resumed. In all this, inflation remains a big concern.

The trends that are comforting analysts include the big hiring plans of IT firms, the strong property sales, the pick-up in volumes at FMCG firms and the robust increase in home loans. Indeed, the rebound in real estate is good news for the economy.

The concerns are the shortage of key components plaguing the auto sector, the rising cost of energy, input inflation in general and the high attrition at IT firms. While the revival in consumer demand has been fairly strong, not all companies have been able to pass on the higher costs; that has pressured margins.
Several companies have talked of the need to raise prices to be able to pass on the higher cost of inputs.

Revenues in the September quarter grew well, albeit with the help of a low base; for a sample of 1,853 companies (excluding banks and financials), they were up 33 per cent y-o-y, a good part of it helped by commodity inflation.

At the same time realisations improved for a range of goods. Net standalone revenues at Mahindra & Mahindra were up 15 per cent y-o-y on the back of a good ASP (average selling price).

However, rising raw material costs caused some damage, up 430 bps y-o-y; operating margins for the sample contracted 57 bps. fe

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