India Inc gets 10 new billion-dollar babies

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Fortis, Uttam Galva, GSFC exit list in FY14

The elite club of Indian companies with more than $1 billion revenues expanded to 161 members in the financial year 2013-14 (FY14), with 10 new entries from the BSE500 basket.

Members of the club actually doubled since FY09, even as the country’s GDP growth halved to 4.7 per cent in FY14 from a high of 8.9 per cent in FY11.

At the rupee exchange rate of 59.89 to the dollar on March 31, each of these firms had revenues of Rs 5,989 crore ($1 billion) or more in the financial year gone by. In 2012-13, at the same reference rate, the club would have had 154 members.

Three companies — Fortis Healthcare, Uttam Galva and GSFC — went out of the list, but the tribe still increased despite a tough economic environment.

The new entries came from diverse industries; Arvind and DCM Shriram from textiles, State Bank of Mysore and Bajaj Finserv from finance, Century Textiles and Rain Industries from cement, Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals from pharmaceuticals, Bharat Forge from auto ancillaries, SpiceJet from aviation and Sesa Sterlite from mining.

Two others, Bajaj Hindusthan and Escorts, almost made it, but got excluded from the list, as their reported revenues were for 18 months till March 31 due to a change in accounting year.

Among the new entrants in the list, Aurobindo Pharma clocked 39 per cent growth in annual consolidated net sales to Rs 8,038 crore.

“We were aiming to be a $2 billion company by 2016, but now we hope to achieve this mark in FY15 itself,” said an official at Aurobindo Pharma, who did not wish to be named.

He said the Actavis acquisition was a well-thought-out plan and a strategic one, which helped the company gain scale in Europe and provided market access to France and Belgium.

“Going forward we are not ruling out inorganic growth routes. The gaps in the portfolio have been taken care of by our previous acquisitions. Almost 70 per cent of our sales are in the US and we expect to continue to have influence on the base growth,” the Aurobindo official said.

Eighteen analysts in a Bloomberg poll have projected FY15 revenue for the company at Rs 11,737 crore.

“Revenue forecasts for key local economy-sensitive sectors show analysts’ estimates are at best building in a mild recovery. They are not building in a real reversal in the growth trajectory, as seen early last decade,” Gautam Chhaochharia of UBS said in a note on Tuesday.

Bharat Forge witnessed a modest 5.60 per cent growth in exports in FY14, but domestic revenues surged 54 per cent, lifting net sales by 17.41 per cent to Rs 6,622 crore.

“Bharat Forge exited its China JV in the December quarter on account of sustained losses. As a result, the overall contribution from the subsidiaries improved in the March quarter. New order wins in the passenger car segment are likely to boost revenues further,” Salil Kedia of Barclays said in a note.

SpiceJet clocked Rs 6,304 crore sales in FY14, growing 12.60 per cent from Rs 5,600 crore in FY13.

The company has been seeing healthy revenue growth in the last few years, but still reporting losses, which stood at Rs 191 crore in the previous financial year and grew to Rs 1,003 crore in the current financial year.

Analysts in a Bloomberg poll have projected the carrier to double sales to Rs 7,536 crore in FY15.

Sesa Sterlite made it to the list solely on the strength of Sesa Goa’s merger with Sterlite Industries last August, as the company had a tough year following the Supreme Court ban on its iron ore mines in Goa.

The Supreme Court ban was lifted this April.

Aggregate sales of the 161 billion-dollar revenue companies grew 11.60 per cent in the current financial year compared with 11.32 per cent growth for the 461 constituents of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)500 index, whose accounting year ends on March 31 or December 31.

Few companies whose accounting year either ends in June or September were not considered in this analysis.

There were seven firms whose revenues exceeded the $1 billion mark in the accounting year that either ended in June 2013 or September 2013.

These were HCL Technologies, Siemens, HCL Infosystems, Madras Rubber Factor (MRF), Alok Industries, Videocon Industries and Amtek Auto.

(With inputs from Trushna Udgirkar)

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