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Slowdown, soft commodity prices dent India Inc’s Q2 revenue growth

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Mumbai, Dec 2 : Weak consumer sentiments along with slowdown in the infrastructure sector and soft commodity prices weighed heavily on the corporate sector’s revenue growth in Q2FY20, ratings agency ICRA said here on Monday.

The ratings agency’s analysis of 609 companies, excluding the financial sector entities, showed a YoY and sequential contraction in revenues for the “first time in almost four years” with an aggregate revenues contracting by 0.9 per cent YoY.

ICRA said during the period under review Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margin contracted 32bps YoY and by 100bps sequentially to 16.7 per cent.

“The major impact on revenues came from commodity-linked sectors, revenues from which contracted 5 per cent YoY as well as sequentially,” the agency said.

“Consumer sentiment too remained muted, as reflected in YoY contraction of 1 per cent in revenues from consumer-oriented sectors. Additionally, demand from the infrastructure segment was down, due to extended monsoon, slow release of government funds, cancellation of orders and marginal decline in housing demand,” it said.

The analysis revealed that profitability was impacted by negative operating leverage, high discounting and tepid realisation in commodity sectors.

“In terms of sector specific trends, consumer-linked sectors, like automobiles and FMCG, continued to report YoY and sequential weakening. Within the automobile sector, the passenger vehicle segment, which had started weakening from Q2FY19 as ownership costs increased and the macroeconomic environment weakened, continued sluggish,” it said.

“Although FMCG companies reported volume growth, there was further sequential slowdown in both rural and urban markets.”

As per the statement, cement production volume growth also slowed significantly to 1 per cent, given the continued slowdown in infrastructure, housing and industrial or commercial sectors.

The IT sector reported 9 per cent revenue growth in Q2FY20 (in rupee terms), supported by inorganic growth, rupee depreciation YoY and traction in digital offerings across verticals, while the gems and jewellery segment grew 22 per cent on the back of increase in gold prices.

Additionally, sectors like airlines, pharmaceutical and telecom helped arrest the extent of revenue contraction.

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Govt must tell forward plan to the country: Congress

Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spoke of the expanded fresh guidelines a day ahead of the end of lockdown 4.0.

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Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, May 31 : On the last day of the lockdown 4.0, the Congress has questioned the government on its strategy and plan to control the coronavirus infection, exit route out of the lockdown to revive the economy and a way forward.

Chief Spokesperson of the Congress, Randeep Surjewala said, “Today, we witnessed biggest ‘Single Day Spike’ in #COVID19 infection of 8,380. Total Infection at 1,82,490.”

He asked, “The fifth Lockdown begins tomorrow and Congress posed 4 questions to the government — What is the Govt strategy? Have the Lockdowns failed? Is there a blueprint to fight Corona? Any plan out of economic havoc?”

The party has been questioning the persistent lockdown without any exit plan which was implemented on March 25.

The Centre on Saturday took an exit step from the 68-day nationwide lockdown, declaring that the restrictions will be limited to only containment zones up to June 30 and that the prohibited activities will be opened in a phased manner in areas outside these zones.

Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spoke of the expanded fresh guidelines a day ahead of the end of lockdown 4.0.

The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 with the announcement of the restrictions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown was extended thrice earlier.

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Trump to include India, Russia, Australia, S.Korea in G7

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New Delhi/Washington, May 31 : US President Donald Trump has decided to postpone the G7 summit till September and invite India, Russia, Australia and South Korea to discuss a plan on how to deal with the future of China among the 11 most powerful nations.

A White House statement said that after Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday night, the President came back to the press cabin to chat, off the record, for several minutes toward the end of the flight.

However, he permitted the White House to use his statement on the record about the G7.

“He is postponing it until September and plans to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India,” the statement said.

President Trump took the decision saying: “I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries.”

The Group of Seven (G7) is an international inter-governmental economic organization of the seven largest advanced economies of the world comprising the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

The decision to postpone the G7 meeting and include four other nations, “is bringing together our traditional allies to talk about how to deal with the future of China”, White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Alexandra Farah said.

Incidentally, India and China are locked in an intense face-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh. Even as President Trump has offered to arbitrate between the two sides, both China and India are using the established mechanisms and communications channels to resolve the issue.

Last week, however, with its new vision document on China, the US announced the onset of its Cold War with the Asian giant, accusing it of exploiting rule-based world order and re-shaping international system in favour of Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ideology and interests.

Just short of calling it Cold War, the US in its report titled, ‘United States Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China’, released by the White House, declared that it is “responding to the CCP’s direct challenge by acknowledging that the two major powers are in a “strategic competition and protecting” their “interests appropriately”.

On Friday, the US, the UK, Australia and Canada jointly reprimanded China, stating that its decision to impose a new security law on Hong Kong was in direct violation of international treaties.

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Centre allows movement of persons and goods across borders from June 1

The MHA emphasised that no state/UT shall stop the movement of any type of goods/cargo for cross land border under treaties with neighbouring states.

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New Delhi, May 30 : The Centre on Saturday, while announcing the guidelines for phased re-opening of the lockdown, said that from June 1, there will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods.

In an exit mode from the 68-day nationwide lockdown, the Centre said that restrictions will be limited to only containment zones up to June 30. Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said, “There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.”

The MHA emphasised that no state/UT shall stop the movement of any type of goods/cargo for cross land border under treaties with neighbouring states.

However, if a state/ Union Territory based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.

The MHA said, “Movement by passenger trains and Shramik Special trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per the SOPs issued.”

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