Categories Concall Highlights, Earnings, Other Industries

S Chand & Company Ltd Q4 FY23 Earnings Conference Call Insights

Key highlights from S Chand & Company Ltd (SCHAND) Q4 FY23 Earnings Concall

Management Update:

  • [00:03:48] SCHAND said it expects to launch over 500 new SKUs in the school segment this year.

Q&A Highlights:

  • [00:11:46] Niteen Dharmawat at Aurum Capital asked if the guidance includes the increase in volume due to NCF implementation and if so, how much and will it be implemented in a staggered manner. Himanshu Gupta Group MD said NCF is expected to be implemented in the next academic year and will take 2-3 years to fully implement. The company expects revenues of INR720-750 crores next year due to NCF implementation.
  • [00:13:01] Niteen Dharmawat at Aurum Capital enquired about the current holding percentage in Smartivity and have any new funds being raised and at what valuation. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO said SCHAND holds around 15% in Smartivity which is cash positive and growing at 50-60%. Smartivity is looking to raise INR160-175 crores if and when it comes in.
  • [00:14:19] Riya Mehta from Aequitas asked about the value and volume led growth in FY23. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO answered that volume growth was 9% and 18% was value led.
  • [00:15:07] Riya Mehta from Aequitas queried about the expected value growth rate for FY24 and how much of it will be led by price hikes and volume. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO answered that price should be in the range of 6-8% and the remaining would come in from volumes.
  • [00:18:18] Riya Mehta from Aequitas also asked if SCHAND can shift its mix towards import since domestic prices are consolidating and not going down or is there a particular mix it has to maintain. Himanshu Gupta Group MD replied that SCHAND has a mix of both domestic and imported paper for its books. The company procures lower grammage paper domestically and import higher grammage paper mainly from Indonesia.
  • [00:19:51] Vikas Kasturi from Focus Capital asked if the company’s salespeople are aligned by brand or geography. Himanshu Gupta Group MD replied that SCHAND has two divisions: school and higher education with 200 plus and 60-70 salespeople respectively. Vikas has 160-170 salespeople, New Saraswati House has 170, and Chhaya Prakashani has 70 salespeople mainly in West Bengal.
  • [00:24:11] Vikas Kasturi at Focus Capital asked about the growth drivers in place, if it’s more sales people or school outreach. Himanshu Gupta Group MD answered that the growth drivers are reaching more schools and possibly adding more salespeople for promotion and marketing. Bigger players will have an edge in the market due to improved product quality and smaller players being financially affected by Corona.
  • [00:25:26] Bharat Mani with Moneybee enquired about the sales and promotion budget for FY24. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO said that SCHAND’s annual sales and marketing spend is around 6-7% which includes transportation. The company’s major marketing is visiting schools to demonstrate the product and conducting workshops and webinars which is not a large amount of its total revenues.
  • [00:28:00] Bharat Mani with Moneybee queried about the employee cost shaping ahead and if SCHAND is planning on adding more employees with the current cost at 22%. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO said the employee cost may shift by 0.5% as employees are key in this business. Not many people will be added to sales and marketing but more will be added to content development due to NCF implementation.
  • [00:32:14] Shekhar Mundra from Vivog Commercial asked what SCHAND is spending on for Mylestone: marketing cost or building the app. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO replied that SCHAND spent about INR10 crores on marketing for Mylestone last year and will have some cost on content development this year for a new curriculum solution targeting higher end and premium schools.
  • [00:32:56] Shekhar Mundra from Vivog Commercial also asked if the company is planning to raise any private equity or any funds for Mylestone. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO clarified that SCHAND has sufficient internal cash flows and are generating INR80-100 crores annually and are debt-free so there is no reason to raise equity from outside.
  • [00:34:29] Shekhar Mundra from Vivog Commercial enquired about the other income of INR32.9 crores in FY23. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO replied that the other income includes a revaluation of INR12.5 crores in the shares of Smartivity labs, a gain of INR7 crores from iNeuron and the remaining is interest income.
  • [00:36:12] Deepan Sankara Narayanan from TrustLine enquired if the 18-23% growth guidance for FY24 assume NEP for a couple of classes or full implementation for all classes. Himanshu Gupta Group MD answered that NEP is expected to come out for all classes this year but will be gradually implemented over 2-3 years. New books based on the draft curriculum will be released and modified if the final draft of NCF comes in.
  • [00:40:32] Jayesh from SaaS Capital asked if AI tools pose a threat for SCHAND businesses. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO said SCHAND is still assessing the impact of AI on its K-12 content but there could be some opportunity in higher education. Content development will help improved turnaround time for SCHAND products but an impact on revenues is not expected from schools.
  • [00:43:29] Punit Mittal from Global Core Capital asked about the cost of debt on the books. Saurabh Mittal Group CFO answered that SCHAND’s average cost of debt is currently around 9.5-10%, up from 8-9% last year due to repo hikes in the last quarter.
  • [00:49:43] Riya Mehta from Aequitas asked if SCHAND’s market share is decreasing due to Navneet’s success with their CBSE books. Himanshu Gupta Group MD said that Navneet is not a significant player in the CBSE space and there are much bigger players. The main set of new books that will have a substantial component of market share increase will be recommended by schools this year.

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