Troubled by rising prices of raw materials like lead and adverse forex movement, Exide Industries posted a marginal drop in third-quarter bottomline on a tepid revenue growth of 17%. Net profit for the October-December quarter was Rs104.09 crore, marginally lower than Rs104.30 crore posted a year ago, while net turnover was Rs1,462 crore.
The results released after the market close disappointed analysts, who were expecting a 35% year-on-year rise in net profit at a little over Rs140 crore and about 25% growth in revenues on expectation of a strong demand from the auto replacement market as well as improvement in inverter battery sales. “The quarter saw continuous rise in lead prices, which combined with rupee depreciation, resulted in a significant cost push and pressure on the margins, to some extent was compensated from the robust growth in the replacement segment volumes,” Exide managing director T V Ramanathan said.
While replacement market for four-wheeler batteries saw a volume growth of 25% on expected lines, de-growth in the Original Equipment Market pulled down growth in automotive batteries to 13%.
In two-wheeler segment, the replacement market expanded 53%, while OE segment was subdued, Exide said. Buoyed by growing demand for its recently launched inverters, Exide has acquired a UPS manufacturing facility in Haridwar for Rs6.38 crore during the quarter, its second
acquisition in a year, Exide said.
The Haridwar facility acquired during the just-concluded quarter is located close to its existing UPS facility at Roorkee in Uttarakhand, acquired a year back from Kevin Power Solutions, a Noida-based company, for about Rs18 crore.
Following that acquisition, Exide went national in March with the launch of its inverter-cum-battery offering under brand Chloride. Since then, Exide has upped the Roorkee plant capacity from 4,000 units a month to 30,000 units.
While sales of home UPS has dropped a bit with the onset of winter, inverter battery sales suffered with the slowing down of finance and service industries.