• JULY 7, 2001

Geometric: Soft on software

On the face of it, Geometric has made a weak start to the fiscal FY02. Compared to the last quarter of FY01 when it posted a sequential (Quarter on Quarter - QoQ) topline growth of 44%, it has posted a 13% drop in revenues for the 1QFY02. On a YoY (Year on Year) basis the company has shown a growth in topline of 60%. The net profit figure for the company has declined by 67% sequentially and 10% on a YoY basis.

(Rs m)4QFY011QFY02Change
Other Income7 4 -36.3%
Operating Profit (EBDIT)6827-60.1%
Operating Profit Margin (%)41.8%19.3%-53.8%
Interest 00
Profit before Tax65 21 -67.0%
Tax- 0
Profit after Tax/(Loss)65 21 -67.1%
Net profit margin (%)39.8%15.23%
Extraordinary item10
Profit after Tax/(Loss)65 21 -67.1%
Net profit margin (%)40.1%15.2%
Diluted number of shares5.25.2
Diluted Earnings per share*50 16 -67.1%
P/E (x) 5

The operating margins for the company dipped sharply, from 41.8% in 4QFY01 to 19.3% in 1QFY02. This is due the fact that the expenditure of the company grew by 20%, while the topline headed south. The growth in expenditure was largely due to the staff costs, which escalated by 35% compared to 4QFY01. As a result, the staff costs jumped to 40% of revenues compared to 26% in the previous quarter. The reason for this rise in staff costs is that the company recruited 40 people in the quarter and also, there was a revision in pay structure. Other expenses heads like traveling grew by 21%. As a result the companyís operating margin dipped. However, the marketing costs have declined compared to the 4QFY01.

However, if we look deeper into the numbers, the performance is not exactly disappointing.

The dip in operating margins could be due to a 65% drop in software (components and products) sales. However, in 4QFY01 the company had realized Rs 46 m due to a one-time sale of technology to Spatial Corp. Excluding this figure the software sales were down by 25% for the company. As the contribution of software sales was just 22% to the sales, the operating margins were lower. On the projects front, Geometric has shown a strong growth in projects sales (up 45% sequentially).

(Rs m)4QFY011QFY02Change
Projects - offshore 66 77 15.4%
Fixed price projects - 8 -
Projects - onsite 3 14 342.9%
Domestic - 2 -
Total projects 70 101 45.3%
Software 86 29 -65.8%
Total (Software and Projects) 155 131 -15.9%

The company is trying to boost the topline growth by venturing into new areas like collaborative engineering and information management, which are more inclined towards projects. The information management business unit has bagged projects for software development, implementation and integration. It has joined hands with MatrixOne to be a global alliance partner and won its first major order for integrating the software for an industry major during the quarter.

The companyís geometry business unit (more inclined towards software components and products) added five new customers including three industrial customers. The addition of industrial customers has been identified as a key element in Geometricís strategy to expand its customer base.

Geometricís past and the current performance continue to haunt its valuations. The stock trades at a P/E multiple of 5 x its annualised 1QFY02 earnings. However, it should be noted that the company is gradually getting its act together and has chosen high growth areas like collaborative engineering and information management. It is in a transition. How well it is able to handle it would largely decide its fate on the bourses.

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