Aspirational middle class buying from Tier 3,4,5 cities will drive growth- Blue StarMrunmayee Jogalekar
Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Tuesday, NIFTY closed 0.4% down at 15,748. Top gainers in NIFTY50 were POWERGRID (+2.3%), CIPLA (+1.5%), and NESTLEIND (+1.3%). The top losers were IOC (-2.4%), ONGC (-2.2%), and HINDALCO (-2.1%). The only sectoral gainers were PHARMA (+0.6%) and FMCG (+0.5%) while the top sectoral losers were PSU BANK (-1.5%), METAL (-1.2%), and PRIVATE BANK (-1.0%).
Aspirational middle class buying from Tier 3,4,5 cities will drive growth- Blue Star
Excerpts of an interview with Mr. B Thiagarajan, MD, Blue Star (BLUESTARCO), aired on CNBC TV18 dated 29thJune 2021:
- Markets started reopening in first week of June 2021. Since then, demand has been much better than anticipated. The loss of summer sales will still keep the numbers lower than 1QFY20 by almost 25-30%. However, sales in 1QFY22 will be much better than 1QFY21.
- In January 2021, BLUESTARCO took a price hike of 5-8% due to cost inflation. Despite that, BLUESTARCO had record sales in 4QFY21with 37% YoY growth.
- BLUESTARCO took a second price hike in April 2021 to the tune of 3-5%. As the company cannot absorb the exorbitant input cost inflation, it plans to take a third price hike in mid-August 2021.
- Naturally, consumers have migrated to lower end products and may continue to do that due to the several price hikes.
- Mr.Thiagarajan maintains the guidance of 8-8.5% margins in the cooling products. BLUESTARCO does not want to sacrifice margins to gain volume.
- Government’s Production linked incentive (PLI)scheme will have a positive impact in coming months.
- Embracing the technology of aluminium heat exchangers will reduce the costs and increase energy efficiency for AC industry. Auto industry has shifted to this technology while the AC industry has not done so yet.
- The next energy level change is scheduled for 1st January 2022 which will push up prices by another 7%. For demand to continue to grow at least at 10% CAGR, these cost rationalizationmeasures will have to be taken.
- For room ACs, delivering 8% EBITDA margin is possible in 1HFY22. 8.5% is the upper target band which may not be possible in the short term.
- Demand in Tier 1 cities has been worst affected. For BLUESTARCO, Tier 3,4,5 cities form 65% of revenue. This aspirational middleclass segment in Tiers 3,4,5 cities is what will drive the growth going ahead so BLUESTARCO has repositioned itself in line with this expectation.
Asset Multiplier comments:
- Industries across the board have been facing input cost pressures and are trying to pass on the costs through price hikes.
- However, passing on the entire cost inflation is proving to be difficult in an already sensitive demand scenario.
- Consumer discretionary items are sensitive to pricing, so companies will have to calibrate pricing based on competitive scenario. Consumers will shift to a lower priced product if the price difference is large.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)
- The closing price of BLUESTARCO was ₹ 815/- as of 29-June-2021. It traded at 44x/ 31x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 18.5/ 26.7 for FY22E/23E respectively.
- The consensus price target is ₹ 819/- which trades at 31x the earnings estimate for FY23E of ₹ 26.7/-
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