“Against the backdrop of a sluggish economy and weak macro-economic indicators, Quarter III was bound to be an extremely challenging one for a GDP-driven industry as ours,” said
Mr. Vinod K. Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland. “However, despite strong headwinds, we have been able to turn in a fairly creditable performance with market share gains across regions and product segments, the aggressive network expansion programme yielding rich dividends, the LCV, Spares and Power Solutions businesses doing exceedingly well and significant inroads made into new international markets with non-SAARC markets almost offsetting the loss from an under-performing Sri Lankan market.”
Mr. Dasari was putting perspective to the Quarter III results of the Hinduja Group flagship that saw revenue drop by 18% to Rs. 2,381 crores as against Rs. 2,903 crores for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. Net profit for the quarter was, however, up by 11% at
Rs. 74 crores (Rs. 67 crores).
Employee Cost decreased by 4% at Rs. 262 crores (Rs. 272 crores). Other Expenditure increased by 13% at Rs. 306 crores as against Rs. 272 crores for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal as also did Financial Expenses, up by 78% at Rs. 107 crores (Rs. 60 crores).
For the nine months ended December 2012, sales revenue was higher by 2% at Rs. 8,684 crores (Rs. 8,531 crores). Net profit was, however, down 8% at Rs. 284 crores (Rs 307 crores).
The above results include a gain of Rs. 156.26 crores on part sale of investments.
Although volumes for the quarter at 22,661 nos. (23,175 nos.) is marginally lower to that of the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal, the Company did gain in a falling market with Market Share increasing by 2.5% in the M&HCV space. This was largely attributable to gains across regions except for South, where it was flat and the success of newly introduced models. The Company consciously accelerated its investments in new products to provide maximum value to its customers. The Company gained in the growing ICV segment on the back of better acceptance of the Ecomet range of vehicles while the initial market feedback to the recently launched Multi Axle Vehicles (MAVs) with Twin Speed Rear Axles and the 5-axle 3718il have been very encouraging.
‘Dost’ continued its successful run with 18% Market Share even though it is in ramp up mode with presence in 9 states.
The Company’s network expanded rapidly which now has 435 full-service centers on all the major highways of the country while the programme of appointing new dealers has also paid off with significantly better contribution coming from the new entrants.
Apart from the LCV business, the Spare and Power Solutions businesses also grew robustly. In fact, December 2012 saw the highest ever sale of engines in a particular month of 3,444 numbers. On the International Operations front, the performance of non-SAARC markets like the Middle East, Africa, CIS and Latin America was very impressive.
Regarding future prospects, Mr. Dasari remarked: “Historically Q4 is the most robust of quarters but in the present scenario, the entire commercial vehicle industry hopes for some Government initiated stimuli soon that will help turn the tide, improve sentiments which would in turn give the entire economy a much-needed fillip.”