Testing times with zero revenue and major fixed costs – Sandeep Kataria, Bata IndiaMaitreyee Vaishampayan
Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Monday, the Nifty closed 1.3% lower at 8,993 amid reports that the 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the virus which ends on Tuesday might be extended. Pharma (+2.8%) and Metal (+1.9%) were the only sectoral gainers. Realty (-4.9%), Media (-3.3%), and Financial Services (-3.1%) were the top losing sectors. Among the stocks, the biggest gainers were Larsen & Toubro (+6.4%), Hindalco (+6.0%), and Bharti Airtel (+4.5%). Bajaj Finance (-10.3%), ZEEL (-8.4%), and Bajaj Finserv (-6.9%) led the losers.
Testing times with zero revenue and major fixed costs – Sandeep Kataria, Bata India
Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Sandeep Kataria, CEO, Bata India published in Mint on 13th April 2020:
- As per the Union and State government guidelines, Bata India has closed both, the retail and online stores and factories. As a result, they are looking at a zero-revenue situation for the entirety of the lockdown period.
- In the short-term, the revenues will be impacted but will recuperate slowly once the markets are allowed to open. Should the lockdown continue, it would be a difficult time for the company as there are major fixed costs to be paid. A government stimulus is needed soon, else managing the costs without revenues would become very difficult.
- They have refrained from layoffs and are ensuring timely payment of salaries. This cannot continue for a long time. Landlords and mall owners have their own problems too. Hence, Bata is requesting the government to allow a moratorium on its debts in the short term. This might help the landlords pass some relief to the company as well.
- Second, they request a wage subsidy from the government. The leather and footwear industry employs approximately 4.5 million people and Bata wants to make sure that there is no job loss as a result of the crisis. Hence, they are seeking a job support subsidy at 50 percent of the minimum wages from the government for at least four months.
- Additionally, the industry has sought relaxation of statutory payments such as the goods and service tax (GST), provident fund and income tax.
- Bata India has started production of masks and face shields at their Batanagar factory in Kolkata and donates these to the local hospitals, Police authorities, and communities. Additionally, the washable shoe range can help essential services staff stay safe.
- They request the policymakers to classify footwear in the essential category of items and allow them to operate e-commerce delivery, and stores for limited hours to begin with.
- Bata employs more than 10,000 people and salary cuts and layoffs are something they are looking to avoid. They need government support to ensure it does not come to that.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener and investing.com websites)
- The closing price of Bata India was ₹ 1,198/- as of 13-April-2020. It traded at 40x/ 34x/ 29x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 30.1/ 35.4/ 40.7 for FY20E/ FY21E/ FY22E respectively.
- The consensus average target price of ₹ 1,767/- implies a PE multiple of 43x on FY22E EPS of ₹ 40.7/-