Castrol and Apar Record Quarterly Gains


Castrol India Ltd. reported a 4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit thanks to better sales in its personal mobility and industrial businesses. Apar Industries Ltd.s transformer and specialty oils segment earnings increased around 30 percent in its fourth quarter although its revenue uptick was marginal.

Mumbai-based Castrol India posted a net profit of 179 crore rupees (approximately Rs 1.8 billion, or U.S. $27.7 million) during its January through March 2017 period, up from Rs 172.4 crore last year.

Net sales rose 3 percent to Rs 1,012 crore, according to a regulatory filing. Total expenses increased 3.5 percent to about Rs 761.4 crore.

In a press statement, Managing Director Omer Dormen said the company delivered strong results despite the lingering effects of demonetization and the rising cost of goods. We also managed to hold volumes in a market which showed a decline compared to the previous year, he noted.

The company said it continued to make strong progress on its strategic priorities during the quarter by focusing on acquiring new customers and expanding its distribution network of over 105,000 retail outlets and 420 business-to-business points of sale.

[Castrols] performance continues to be driven by growth in the personal mobility segment led by power brands, which now contribute significantly to overall volumes, Dormen said. The industrial business also continues to deliver a double-digit growth volume in a flat market.

Castrol said that the July 1 implementation of Indias nationwide Goods and Services Tax may lead to short-term performance pressures, but that its long-term impacts on the economy and the lubricant industry will be positive.

Castrol has manufacturing plants in Patalganga, Paharpur and Silvassa.

Indian transformer oils and lubes manufacturer Apar reported a fourth-quarter operating profit of 47.8 crore for the period ending March 31, up from Rs 36.9 crore in the same period last year.

The Mumbai-based diversified company attributed the increase in part to a 6 percent decline in expenses. Revenue for the segment, which includes automotive lubricants among over 400 types of specialty oils, increased 1 percent to Rs 469.7 crore.

Specialty oil volumes during the quarter also increased 1 percent, to around 80,000 metric tons for a record quarter, Apar Industries Chairman and Managing Director Kushal Desai said on a May 31 conference call. Growth was driven by demand for white oils, rubber processing oils, industrial lubricants and exports of transformer oils.

For the 2016-17 fiscal year, annual operating profit declined 9 percent to Rs 174.2 crore. The segment reported net sales of Rs 1,824.6 crore, down nearly 7 percent from Rs 1,954 crore a year ago. Specialty oils volume grew by 4 percent for the full year to a record high of around 312,000 tons.

Indias largest manufacturer of transformer oils, Apar commands about 45 percent of the market. Specialty oils account for about 35 percent of the companys revenue, while auto lubes contribute about 5 percent.

Apars automotive lubes segment grew in volume in the full year by 6 percent to reach approximately 22,000 tons. However, growth was limited by demonetization, Desai noted. While the company witnessed double-digit growth in the first half of the year, the demonetization policy impacted volumes in the third quarter and, to some extent, the fourth quarter as well.

The companys automotive business is based on licensed sales of Italian manufacturer Eni S.p.A.s Eni-branded lubricants through a network of 450 distributors and 15,000 retailers throughout India.

Apar, which has presence in over 100 countries, said it has adopted a hub-and-spoke manufacturing and distribution model for specialty oils, which allows efficient delivery cycles to original equipment manufacturers of transformers across Asia, Africa and Australia. Exports account for 32 percent of total sales for the company.

Desai said the volume growth is likely to come from Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY), the central governments reform of the countrys electricity distribution network. Apar commands a 60 percent share in Indias power transformer oil market and supplies 40 percent of the countrys distribution transformer oils.

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