Indian Companies Weather Volatility


Indian Companies Weather Volatility

Volatility in key factors – including base oil and crude oil prices, additives costs and the Indian rupee – made margin-balancing challenging for Indian companies in the quarter ending Dec. 31, leading to lower profits for some, while others, including Castrol India and Gulf Oil Lubricants India, touted adjustments made to weather the volatility storm.

A Savita Oil Technologies Ltd. official said two critical components – base oils and the exchange rate – experienced major volatility during the quarter and both impacted the company severely.  “Base oils prices have fallen about 25% since June 2022, and the Indian rupee also depreciated significantly in the quarter ending December 2022,” Savita Oil Technologies Chairman and Managing Director Gautam N. Mehra said in the company’s earnings release. “This resulted in inventory and foreign exchange losses, which have impacted our margins.”

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Sandeep Sangwan, managing director for Castrol India Ltd., noted that 2022 was marked by high foreign exchange and inflationary pressures, arising from volatile crude oil prices, leading to rising costs of additives and base oil. “We balanced our volumes and margins through timely pricing decisions and rigorous cost management and delivered bottom-line growth,” he said in a press release.

Gulf Oil Lubricants India noted in its earnings news release that although it witnessed a softening in some of its input cost items in the quarter, its effect was partially offset by the rising cost of additives and depreciating Indian rupee. Such factors continued to weigh on overall margins despite continuous margin management actions through the nine-month fiscal period.

“Margin management will continue to remain a key focus area where the company will be playing a balancing approach on volume versus margins,” Ravi Chawla, managing director and CEO of Gulf Oil Lubricants India, said in the release, “as some of the input costs have stabilized following crude oil, but we remain cautiously optimistic in an environment of global uncertainty with volatile economic conditions from a short to medium term perspective.”

“The lubricant sector, like the majority of global industries, faces an uncertain future with

significant obstacles,” GP Petroleums Ltd., which posted a lower year-on-year profit, said in an earnings press release. “GP Petroleums is using a mixture of smart procurement, value engineering, responsible sales, product mix play, and customer retention strategies to reduce the risk brought on by volatility through agility.”

Among other Indian companies, profits rose for Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd.’s lubricants and greases segment, Apar Industries Ltd. and Maximus International Ltd., while profits for Tide Water Oil (India) Ltd. and Continental Petroleums Ltd. decreased.

Castrol India

Castrol India reported its profit after tax edged up 2% to Rs 193 crore (Rs 1.9 billion or U.S. $23.2 million) in the quarter ending Dec. 31, which is the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, compared to Rs 189 crore. For the full year, profit after tax increased 8% to Rs 815 crore, from Rs 758 crore.

The Mumbai-headquartered company said its revenue from operations increased 8% to Rs 1,176, up from Rs 1,091 crore. For full-year 2022, revenue from operations rose 14% to Rs 4,774 crore, compared to Rs 4,192 crore in 2021.

Gulf Oil Lubricants India

Gulf Oil Lubricants India, a Hinduja Group company, posted standalone net profit of Rs 62.7 crore, 7% up from Rs 58.7 crore.

Total income for the quarter jumped 30% to Rs 795.4 crore, from Rs 612.8 crore. Revenue from operations climbed 30% to Rs 781.1 crore, from Rs 601.8 crore.

Total expenses surged 33% to Rs 711.1 crore, compared to Rs 534.1 crore.

Savita Oil

Savita Oil reported that its net profit fell 53% to Rs 26.8 crore, down from Rs 56.5 crore.

Total income increased 20% to Rs 899.7 crore, from Rs 747.4 crore. Total expenses rose 28% to Rs 865.2 crore, compared to Rs 675.3 crore.

Tide Water Oil

Kolkata-based Tide Water Oil reported in its stock exchange filing that its standalone profit fell 25% to Rs 22 crore, down from Rs 29.3 crore.

The manufacturer and distributor of Veedol-branded lubricants said revenue from operations decreased 12% to Rs 391.5 crore, compared to Rs 348.1 crore. Total expenses for the quarter rose 18% to Rs 380 crore, from Rs 321.5 crore.

GP Petroleums

GP Petroleums reported net profit of Rs 3.8 crore, a 55% drop from Rs 8.5 crore, the Ipol-branded lubricants supplier said in a regulatory filing.

“The overall performance during the quarter dropped in the wake of unforeseen adversities,” CEO Prashanth Achar said. “However, the underlining business is robust, and the decline in profits is largely attributable to tepid trading in commodities.”

Total sales revenue declined 21% to Rs 185 crore, from Rs 232.9 crore. Total expenses fell 19% to Rs 180 crore, from Rs 221.4 crore.

Revenue for its manufacturing segment – including production and marketing of lubricating oils and greases – increased 18% to Rs 123.4 crore, from Rs 104.6 crore. Revenue for its trading segment – which includes base oil trading activities – plunged 52% to Rs 60.7 crore, compared to Rs 128.2 crore.

Apar Industries

Apar Industries reported profit after tax jumped 199% to Rs 157.9 crore for the quarter, the third of its fiscal year, compared to Rs 52.9 crore.

Standalone revenues from Apar’s transformer and specialty oil segment rose 27% to Rs 941.8 crore, compared to Rs 739.8 crore.

Balmer Lawrie

Balmer Lawrie Co. reported profit before finance costs and tax of Rs 14.7 crore for its greases and lubricants segment in the quarter, a 47% jump from Rs 10 crore.

Net sales for its greases and lubricants segment rose 20% to Rs 159.1 crore in the quarter, compared to Rs 132.1 crore.

Maximus International

Lubricants blender Maximus International Ltd. reported consolidated net profit of Rs 1.8 crore for the quarter, an 80% jump from Rs 1 crore.

Based in Vadodara, Gujarat, the company said consolidated net revenue from operations climbed 57% to Rs 23.8 crore, from Rs 15.2 crore.

Continental Petroleums

Lubricant and grease seller Continental Petroleums Ltd. reported net profit of Rs 54.1 lakh (Rs 5.4 million) for the quarter, a 35% decline from Rs 84.1 lakh. Total expenses for the quarter declined 43% to Rs 17.1 crore, compared to Rs 29.9 crore.

Total revenue fell 43% to Rs 17.9 crore, from Rs 31.3 crore.