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earnings | IST

Q2FY22 saw a recovery, expect H2FY22 to be even better, says Ashok Leyland’s Gopal Mahadevan

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Ashok Leyland posted a good set of earnings for Q2FY22 with revenue growing strong due to low base and recovery in CV sales as infra projects pick up. Gopal Mahadevan, CFO and Whole Time Director of Ashok Leyland spoke to CNBC-TV18.

Commercial vehicles maker Ashok Leyland, the Hinduja group's flagship firm, on Friday reported narrowing of its consolidated net loss to Rs 83.65 crore in the second quarter ended September 30, riding on robust sales.
The company had posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 96.23 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, Ashok Leyland said in a regulatory filing.
Its consolidated revenue from operations stood at Rs 5,562.47 crore against Rs 3,835.85 crore in the year-ago quarter, it added. The company said total expenses stood at Rs 5,672.2 crore in the second quarter this fiscal, up from Rs 3,955.11 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.
Gopal Mahadevan, CFO & Whole Time Director of Ashok Leyland, said, “Things are definitely improving. We thought from April things would improve, but suddenly there was the COVID second wave and that impacted Q1 numbers for the entire industry, for the country. Then we saw Q2 having a sharp recovery. So, as we move forward with the level of vaccination that is happening in the country today and the improvement that the situation has drawn, with people coming out, the cinemas are gradually opening, restaurants are opening, trains are getting filled up, flights are getting filled up. I think that things are going to improve quite swiftly in Q3 and Q4. If that were to happen, we believe that should have a very positive effect to the commercial vehicle industry as well.”
He added, “What we are waiting for also is for public transportation to improve; as on date that has not happened yet. As we move forward, we believe that Q3 and Q4 should be much, much better than we thought it would be in Q1.”
Mahadevan said that from Ashok Leyland’s perspective, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are doing exceptionally well and the market share of LCV was nearly 23.3 percent in Q2.
On CNG vehicles, Mahadevan said, “We are going to launch our CNG range of intermediate commercial vehicles by the fourth quarter, which would again, kind of, improve our presence in the ICV segment.”
On margins and price hikes, Mahadevan said, “We took a price hike of approximately 2-2.50 percent, depending on the geography, the sector, etc, in the first quarter. We did that again in the second quarter, and as I speak to you, we have base prices in Q3. Very clearly, we need to set off some part of the raw material price increases, especially steel, where the prices have actually gone through the roof.”
“Hopefully, we would see a softening of commodity prices as things rationalise and improve. The other thing that we will have to watch out for very closely is semiconductor demand. The demand is quite significant and there are constraints not only for our sector but also for passenger cars, for two-wheelers for a whole host of personal gadgets as well, including laptops and mobile. So, we will have to wait, and hopefully when that eases out again, from the supply chain side, you will see a push towards greater delivery.”
For full management commentary, watch the video.