Categories Concall Highlights, Consumer, Earnings, Other Industries

Titan Company Ltd Q4 FY23 Earnings Conference Call Insights

Key highlights from Titan Company Ltd (TITAN) Q4 FY23 Earnings Concall

Q&A Highlights:

  • [00:03:48] Avi Mehta with Macquarie enquired has jewelry demand and growth trends changed in March and April due to gold price hikes. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery replied that jewelry demand softened in March and early April due to gold price volatility. However, it improved during the festive period of Akshaya Tritiya and met TITAN’s yearly plans.
  • [00:05:26] Avi Mehta with Macquarie asked about the change in franchisee rates during the quarter and its impact on margins and growth. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery said that the terms of trade between principal and franchisees ensure healthy returns and profitability for the franchisee. Tanishq franchisees have best in class returns and often want to open multiple stores. The old structure was updated to align growth and profitability for both the associate and the company. Many franchises may gain.
  • [00:09:09] Avi Mehta with Macquarie queried will the target range of 13-14% margins be revisited despite strong growth. Suparna Mitra CEO Watches replied that strong revenue growth was due to investments and actuarial calculations. The margin is satisfactory and in line with 12-13% for the watches business.
  • [00:10:16] Nitin Jain at Fairview Investment asked has the one nation, one gold price policy of competitors like Kalyan, Malabar affected Tanishq’s gold rate premium and EBIT margins. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery said the one nation, one gold rate policy is a 16-month-old story. Tanishq has chosen to optimize gold rates according to local jewelry associations and remain competitive market-by-market. Despite a reduction in gold rate markup, EBIT margins have been maintained through product mix and other initiatives.
  • [00:10:41] Nitin Jain at Fairview Investment enquired why has the dividend payout ratio declined despite an increase in quantum. Ashok Sonthalia CFO said that the dividend policy maintains a payout between 25-40%. This year’s dividend declaration is 26.6% of the profit margin and was decided by the Board considering growth requirements, investment plans, and cash balance.
  • [00:14:41] Percy Panthaki of IIFL enquired what would be the target same-store sales growth for the jewelry division if gold price inflation stabilizes and becomes close to zero. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery clarified that volume is not linked to grammage and gold price inflation. Same-store growth is driven by an increase in the number of customers and average ticket size. The company aims to continue delivering double-digit same-store growth through customer growth and product mix enrichment.
  • [00:19:24] Percy Panthaki of IIFL asked why did eyewear margins fall to mid-single-digits in 4Q23 despite an established model of low to mid-teens EBITDA margin. Saumen Bhaumik CEO Eyewear said the company has maintained mid-teens growth except for 4Q of last year and this year. 4Q sales were affected by a slowdown, stock cleanup, and a change in product portfolio. There were one-time exceptional costs but the company expects gains from new stores. Despite challenges, the company had its best month in April and is poised for a great beginning in FY24.
  • [00:22:32] Jay Doshi from Kotak enquired if the company is confident of maintaining a 13% jewelry EBIT margin in FY24, assuming growth shapes up as expected. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery said the 13.7% margin has the benefit of stock gains on diamond inventory and another element that won’t be there next year. Corrected or normalized, it’ll come between 12.5-13%, which the company expects to sustain given competitive intensity and growth opportunities.
  • [00:24:37] Jay Doshi from Kotak asked does recent demand trends give confidence that the softness in the quarter is behind and healthy growth should continue. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery replied that volatility is here to stay but the company has learned to play the game and is broadly on course. It’s difficult to give an accurate view but May and June promise to be good due to wedding dates. The company is hopeful of delivering to plans despite volatility.
  • [00:32:48] Tejas Shah from Spark Capital asked about the revenue share of wedding jewelry for FY23 and the outlook for the wedding calendar for FY24 considering the backlog of weddings. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery said that in FY23, TITAN’s wedding jewelry sales were 19% of total sales vs. 20% last year. The company pivoted towards other products in 1Q but gained overall market share. The company has aggressive growth targets for weddings in FY24 and aim for higher contribution.
  • [00:35:08] Tejas Shah from Spark Capital asked about the profile of new customers being recruited, including the region and category they are recruited in. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery replied that regionally, it depends on expansion. New customers are typically in the sub-50,000 or sub-1 lakh price band and in gold. The studded ratio is low for other players. There is growth in the sub-50,000 band for Tanishq, Mia, and CaratLane due to a younger audience buying fine jewelry. New wedding buyers are rare but the median is in the daily wear category.
  • [00:36:39] Amit Sachdeva from HSBC asked is the intent to pass along competitive gold prices to channel partners and mitigate costs, balance out high value capture, or invest gains back into the business for growth.  Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery said the company has invested in gold rate and inventory and will continue to do so. TITAN is moderating the product mix to manage GM and align with partners. The goal is to give better margins to both the company and partners by selling higher complexity products.
  • [00:42:30] Amit Sachdeva from HSBC enquired about the number of international stores planned to open this year and if L2 or L3 format is gaining momentum. Danny said International is going well with seven stores open and plans to expand to around 25 stores by the end of FY24. The expansion will be across the GCC region and the U.S.
  • [00:49:09] Latika Chopra from JPMorgan asked about the revenue size for the Mia brand for FY23, the split from standalone stores, and the store addition plans. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery answered that Mia has done well with INR730-740 crores in consumer price terms and is expected to hit INR1,300-1,350 crores in the coming year. 40% of business comes from standalone stores and the rest from Tanishq. TITAN plans to double the number of stores by the end of FY24 and sees a large opportunity in fine jewelry.
  • [00:51:11] Latika Chopra from JPMorgan asked what were the FY23 revenue share and operating margins of wearables and its relation to the 12-13% target margins for watches. Ajoy Chawla CEO Jewellery clarified that wearables were 13% of 4Q and 10% of the total year’s turnover with lower margins than watches. However, they are at a premium to other brands and present a huge business opportunity with improving margins over time.

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