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Sluggish demand drags down Exide net

Calcutta, Jan. 13: A subdued demand for automobile and industrial batteries has pulled down the net profit of Exide Industries Ltd by 25.52 per cent to Rs 77.52 crore in the third quarter ended December.

Net profit after tax stood at Rs 104.09 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

Net sales fell 10.99 per cent to Rs 1,301.41 crore from Rs 1,462.15 crore. Total expenses stood at Rs 1,193 crore against Rs 1,327.40 crore a year ago.

For the nine months ended December, net profit stood at Rs 354.94 crore against Rs 376.32 crore in the same period of the previous year. Net sales declined to Rs 4,355.69 crore from Rs 4,530.06 crore.

Managing director and chief executive P.K. Kataky said the continued sluggish demand of automobiles hampered the performance.

The demand for heavy and light duty commercial vehicles in the replacement market, including passenger cars used for commercial purposes, remained subdued. Original equipment manufacturers also witnessed a negative growth.

In the industrial battery category, the demand for infrastructure, motive power, telecom and inverter batteries continued to be sluggish.

The Exide stock today closed at Rs 105.10 on the BSE, a fall of about 6.20 per cent.

According to Yaresh Kothari, research analyst (auto & auto ancillary) at Angel Broking, while raw material costs as a percentage of sales remained stable sequentially, other expenditure jumped 260 basis points during the quarter.

Therefore, operating profit fell 13.4 per cent year-on-year (29.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter) to Rs 143 crore.

“Exide results significantly missed our as well as consensus estimates on the topline and bottomline front. The company posted disappointing results led by a sharp decline in the topline amid slowdown in the automotive and industrial battery segments and also because of higher competition,” Kothari said.

 
 
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