Monday, July 20, 2009


Impressive margin performance in Q1 FY10, sustainability is a concern

Results: Sales growth remains muted, export realizations boost margins

Although BAL’s volumes in Q4 FY09 reduced by 12% yoy, average net realizations improved by 15% yoy on the back of improved product mix and export realizations. The growth in realizations offset the decline in volumes as net revenues grew 1.6%, slightly above our expectations. Total income (net sales + other income) rose 1.5% to Rs 23,385 mn. BAL’s EBITDA jumped by 71% yoy in Q1 FY10; while EBITDA margins expanded 800 bps yoy and 430 bps qoq to 19.5%.
Softening of steel prices and a change in product mix led to an improvement in raw material costs as a percentage of total income (66.2% v/s 75.7% in Q1 FY09 and 68.8% in Q4 FY09). Adjusted net profits were also above our expectations due to higher than expected benefits at the operating level. Adjusted net profits increased by 55% yoy although in this quarter the company continued to pay for the VRS scheme amounting to Rs 458 mn. Net profits are adjusted for a derivative gain of Rs 218 mn.

EBITDA margins not sustainable
With the effect of steel prices reducing, BAL has witnessed a huge surge in the margins. With Aluminium price reduction showing its impact from Q1 FY10, margins expanded by a significant 430 bps in the quarter on qoq basis. Additionally, export realizations also got a boost due to DEPB benefits and the company’s strategy of taking a forward cover with a bottom-side protection of Rs 47/$ against Rs 41/$ earlier. As a result of this alteration, net realizations increased by a
straight 15%. Also, the ramping up of production at Pantnagar plant would add to the excise benefits. However, the company mentioned that the EBITDA margins would not be remaining at the current level of 19.5% in the remaining part of the year. This will be because the company is in the process of launching new models, which would demand increase in marketing expenses and sacrificing of margins on them to gain volumes. We have estimated the full year margins to
reduce down to 18% from current level of 19.5%. The management expects raw material costs to remain stable throughout the year and also expects EBITDA to remain at the Rs 4,500 mn level every quarter.

New launches to provide better positioning

To reposition itself, BAL is launching the 100 cc bike Discover M on 17July, priced at > Rs42,000 per unit and expected to give a mileage of 80 kmpl. The company also launched two variants of Pulsar 150 and 180 in May and the new Pulsar 220 in June. The domestic Pulsar sales have increased to 42,000 v/s 28,000 per month in FY 2009. The company has started to produce a low cost bike, Boxer in China for Nigerian market. It is currently producing 1,000 bikes per month. In
the coming months, this could be ramped up to 10,000 per month due to increasing demand in the African markets. BAL also declared its plans to launch a new bike with KTM in India next year and has also increased its stake in KTM. It will also launch two new three wheelers in August and December, one each in the passenger and goods segments. The company is planning to ramp up production at Pantnagar to derive added excise benefit. In May, it produced 45,000 bikes from there, while in September it intends to increase it to 60,000, thus taking the yearly production to ~ 0.65 mn.

Exports drop on reducing demand Exports contribute ~33% of BAL’s volumes. The first quarter has witnesses a
10.3% drop on a yoy basis due to weaker export sales in April. We believe this to be negative for the company as the company is banking too much on exports. The company expects a revival in exports in the coming quarters.

To see full report: BAJAJ AUTO LIMITED