Ashok Leyland Q4 profit down 66% to Rs 77 cr

Ashok Leyland set to change track after expansion spree Ashok Leyland has posted a net profit of Rs 77 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 as compared to Rs 229.9 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The 66.5 per cent drop was due to an exceptional loss of Rs 379.3 crore, as against Rs 8 crore a year ago, and higher tax cost despite lower finance cost.

The company said the Rs 379.3 crore was provisions for impairment in investments in certain joint ventures as well as overseas subsidiaries. This is in line with its strategy of reviewing its portfolio of investments and rationalising the same to drive focus on the core business.

"Exceptional items consists of profit of Rs 41.7 crore on sale of long term investments and Rs 420.9 crore diminution in value of investments," the company said.

Revenue increased by around 32 per cent to Rs 5,955 crore in January-March quarter from Rs 4,505.7 crore, an increase of around 28 per cent.

Increase in sale volume, continued reduction in operating costs and a good product mix, helped Earnings before Interest, Tax and Depreciation (EBITDA) grow to Rs 2,166 crore, at 11.5 per cent of total revenue, against Rs. 1,027 crore, 7.6 per cent of total revenue in the previous year.

ALL's domestic medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) sale volume for the year was 98,809 vehicles (66,442  in FY15) with a growth in market position across the country and segments.

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) was 30,695 (27,242 nos.), while international volumes for MHCVs degrew by two per cent owing to slowness in some markets. Defence vehicles registered healthy growth.

The debt-equity ratio as at the end of the year was 0.24 :1 as against 0.75:1 last year.

Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, said that it had been a very successful and a fulfilling year for the company.

"The investment we made in new products, the expansion of network as well as continued efforts in driving operational efficiency has helped us maintain the growth momentum. We are now poised to seize the opportunity the market presents in the immediate future," he added.

Dasari said the company will continue to invest in new products, technologies as well as enhance its domestic and global network further in pursuit of profitable growth.

"We are reviewing our portfolio of investments and are rationalising them. In the current year we have decided to impair some of our investments and this in line with our strategy of increasing our focus on the core business as we move forward. We would be completing this rationalisation process by end of the FY 17. The focus of the company would continue to pursue the path of profitable growth," he said.

Meanwhile, the company got Board's approval equity raising through QIP (9.6 per cent dilution).

The Board gave approval raising of funds by issue of 1350 lakh equity shares. Raising of funds by issue of secured/unsecured redeemable non-convertible debentures in one or more series/tranches on private placement basis for an amount upto Rs 700 crores at an interest rate that will be determined by the prevailing money market conditions at the time of borrowing subject to the approval of the shareholders, said the company.