Categories Concall Highlights, Earnings, Industrials

Bharat Forge Ltd Q3 FY23 Earnings Conference Call Insights

Key highlights from Bharat Forge Ltd (BHARATFORG) Q3 FY23 Earnings Concall

Management Update:

  • [00:01:35] BHARATFORG had a successful quarter with high revenues and export of INR11,066 crores, the highest ever. Passenger vehicles contributed to 20% of total revenue, up from mid-low single digits 3-4 years ago.
  • [00:03:15] BHARATFORG said its overseas subsidiaries saw low capacity utilization due to ramping up of new facilities, but expect improved performance in Jan-March, with value accretive results in FY24.

Q&A Highlights:

  • [00:07:23] Pramod Kumar from UBS asked about an update on the US and Europe aluminum business, specifically, what are the drags faced in ramp-up, utilization rate. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD said that these plants are both operating at 25% capacity utilization due to product development, ramp-ups, and training of manpower. BHARATFORG is aiming to increase production while also managing cost increases and reducing costs through efficiency.
  • [00:09:20] Pramod Kumar from UBS asked about margins related to the rest of the business. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD replied that the company expects its margins to be around 16-18% when running at 75-80% capacity.
  • [00:10:22] Pramod Kumar from UBS queried about CV business with the company reporting strong 4Q momentum, and if RD regime is causing any production disruption. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD said BHARATFORG doesn’t see any signs of a downturn in Q4 MHCV because the projections remain close to 100,000.
  • [00:11:34] Pramod Kumar from UBS asked when the company can expect orders for a gun used in the independence day celebration, as BHARATFORG has been ramping up capacities. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD answered that one should hear news on the matter in the next couple of months.
  • [00:12:03] Jinesh Gandhi from Motilal Oswal asked if the INR600 crore order is largely for spares and ammunition. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD replied that it’s 50-50; 50% for capital items and 50% for spares and consumables. Entire order book is for exports.
  • [00:13:06] Jinesh Gandhi from Motilal Oswal enquired about JS Autocast margin pressure if it’s due to metal prices or something else. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD replied that inflation and the loss of a high margin customer whose end-demand was from Russia have both caused a postponement of business.
  • [00:14:13] Jinesh Gandhi from Motilal Oswal asked about the sustainable margin level for JS Autocast. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD answered that the company’s goal is to take it to about 15-16% in the medium term; 1-2 years.
  • [00:18:02] Mumuksh Mandlesh from Emkay Global asked about the revenue outlook for FY24 in the defense segment. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD answered that it is going to be substantially higher than what it is for FY23.
  • [00:19:10] Pramod Amte at Incred Capital asked if the steel forging losses in the September quarter versus December seasonal or is there something else causing it. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD clarified that there is no loss in the steel business. It is still generating positive EBITDA but at a lower level than desired due to an inflationary atmosphere and manpower shortages caused by COVID. It is still EPS accretive and positive.
  • [00:20:04] Pramod Amte at Incred Capital enquired if the company is already seeing the turnaround in the international operations. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD said that the company expect to be EPS accretive for the full-year FY24 and will reach its numbers by mid-year.
  • [00:22:07] Gunjan Prithyani of Bank of America asked about the US truck cycle and backlog of 6-7 months with order intake slowing. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD replied that most production slots for 2023 are covered until Nov., with an average of 18,000 slots available during the last two months. It is expected that both 2023 and 2024 should be reasonably okay.
  • [00:24:41] Siddhartha Bera from Nomura asked if the company is incurring any costs for current defense orders. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD replied that the company has developed all of its products on its own and passed the costs to the P&L. The new orders for this system will be executed by Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited, a subsidiary of BHARATFORG, in order to give the necessary warranties. All of the value-added components developed over the last few years will be manufactured by BHARATFORG and sold to Kalyani.
  • [00:28:19] Amyn Pirani from J.P. Morgan asked about the reason for interest cost going up sharply QonQ. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD replied that the interest cost for 3Q23  was INR55 crores, an increase from past quarters due to a steep rise in interest rates on foreign currency and working capital loans.
  • [00:32:06] Mahesh Bendre from LIC Mutual Fund asked that given the growth prospects for next year if BHARATFORG will be able to cross all-time high tonnage next quarter. Amit Kalyani Deputy MD answered that next year, production and sales will be significantly higher than ever before due to the new defense, aerospace, and casting businesses acquired. In addition, growth is expected from overseas subsidiaries and Indian standalone business.

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