Bajaj Auto reported a 2.1% growth in standalone PAT (profit after tax) at R978 crore during Q1Y17, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margin at 21.2%, while turnover was up 2.71% to R6,356 crore. Consolidated PAT was at R1,040 crore, a 13% growth.
Total sales during the quarter fell 2% to 9.94 lakh units, of which 8.72 lakh were motorcycles and 1.22 lakh were three-wheelers, which saw a 11% drop. The company said their domestic motorcycle sales grew by 13% against an industry growth of 9%; in commercial vehicle, sales in the domestic market grew 48% against the industry growth of 23%.
The company’s motorcycle market share stood at 19% during the first quarter. Headwinds in the export markets, caused by availability of foreign currency and depreciation in Nigeria and Egypt, caused a decline in exports to 3.70 lakh units during the quarter, compared with 4.76 lakh units in the same quarter last year. The company has for the first time adopted the Indian Accounting Standards for FY17.
Meanwhile, the Bajaj Auto cash pile is growing by the day. And shareholder demands for doing something with the cash reserves are growing with suggestions ranging from bonus issue, buy-back or demerger again to unlock value. Bajaj Auto is sitting on a cash pile of R10,701 crore as on June 30, 2016. As on March 31, 2016 it was R9,085 crore. The company sees this pile growing to R14,000 crore this year.
Responding to shareholder suggestions at the company AGM, Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj ruled out bonus and buy-back. He said there was similar pressure from analysts and shareholders regarding the cash reserves in the company then that led to the demerger of the company. In 2007-08, Bajaj Auto went through a demerger process that saw three companies being carved out of the erstwhile scooter manufacturing company. Cash reserves were distributed between the companies.