Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) continues to have a good FY03. The company has reported a 15% topline growth (including processing charges) during September quarter. The company finished the quarter with a 32% bottomline growth.
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GCPL's topline growth was aided by strong showing in soaps, hair colour and liquid detergents. Infact, in soaps, its brand 'Godrej No. 1' logged in a huge 96% growth YoY during the the first half of FY03 (1HFY03). Hair colours too, continued to display healthy double digit growth rates. It must be noted that GCPL dominates the Indian hair colour market with a 44.5% share. An increase in contrct manufacturing during the quarter too aided topline growth.
Total Godrej Brands
At the operational level, the company was able to maintain healthy margins despite a spurt in staff costs (which is not linked largely to performance) and raw material costs. This was because the company got excise benefits from its plant located in Assam. Currently, the plant accounts for 10% of the company's turnover, but contributed around 25% to the company's profits during the quarter.
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The management explained the loss of market share in the fairness cream segment (Fairglow) as a result of planned phasing out of old stock, to introduce new version of the 'Fairglow' cream. Infact, fairness cream shipment declined by 54% YoY during 1HFY03. The company continues to look for growth in all its branded categories. GCPL is also focusssing on exports to aid topline growth. Its exports to South Africa have commenced and it has tied-up with a third party manufacturer in Bangladesh for exporting its powder hair dye. The company is also boosting its 'Cinthol' presence in the Middle East.
Source: Godrej financial presentation, ORG Data
The company continues to reward shareholder's through its stated policy of increased dividends and/or buyback. GCPL declared its second interim dividend (Rs 2 per share) and also proposed a 3rd buyback scheme at a maximum buyback price of Rs 175 per share not exceeding Rs 100 m outlay.
The management has made no secret of the fact that it wants valuations of the company to strengthen further. But the concern is that the Godrej family already owns over 73% in the company. Going forward, more buyback schemes are likely to squeeze the liquidity on the counter. This may prompt a complete delisting move by the management. Or worse, the valuations of GCPL may continue to depend on the 'crutches' of the management buyback offers and as such may not be able to find its own bearing in the market.
At Rs 111 the stock trades at 12x annualised 1HFY03 earnings, 1.3x market cap to sales. A buyback at Rs 175 signifies a P/E of 19x 1HFY03 annualised earnings, 2.1x market cap to sales. Though the stock may continue its move up led by the buyback offer, going forward a 19x valuation may not be sustainable. Also, 'Godrej No. 1', which has spearheaded the topline growth accounts for 25% of the company's turnover. Such dependence on one brand has to be viewed with caution.
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