FE Editorial : India Inc still struggling
Earnings season may have started with a bang but has ended with a whimper; with a few exceptions, corporate India is struggling to grow as demand falls off and key inputs remain scarce. Not only has it become harder to sell consumer products or win orders for capital goods in a decelerating economy, the output of power has been jeopardised by the shortage of gas. Nowhere was the stress more visible than in Tata Motors; the CV maker reported a loss of R458 crore for the home market as both volumes and realisations dropped 10% y-o-y. With manufacturers in big trouble, raw material suppliers and vendors were in worse shape; Tata Steel wasn’t able to sell enough metal, nor was it able to price it profitably enough and so ended the December quarter with a loss of R458 crore for the home market. Clearly, sectors like construction and automobiles aren’t seeing growth momentum because state-owned steel-maker SAIL’s ebitda dropped 28% y-o-y on the back of falling realisations while auto parts player Bharat Forge saw revenues plummet both in the local and overseas markets. The numbers, for the three months to December 2012, are probably the worst in a long time: for a sample of 2,392 companies (excluding banks, financials and oil firms) net sales rose a paltry just 8% y-o-y. If the bottomline has grown in double digits—10% y-o-y—it’s thanks to lower costs and some help from other income. But things are worse
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