Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mcleod Russel Ltd: Results Update
The Economic Times wrote on 30 May, 2016: 
Leading tea grower firm McLeod Russel reported widening of its standalone net loss at Rs.235.67 crore in the fourth quarter of the 2015-16 fiscal on higher expenses and financial cost.The Kolkata-based company had posted a net loss of Rs.207.95 crore in the same quarter previous year, it said in a BSE filing.
But what the news portal missed out is to present the CONSOLIDATED RESULTS which are NOT THAT BAD. The stock reacted to the news and fell to Rs.179.80 at the time of writing this report. 

The company said its EBIDTA on standalone basis was lower at Rs.82 Cr against Rs.126 Cr on substantial increase in wages during the year. The impact of price increase of Rs.2 per kg, was not sufficient to take of such increase in cost. EBIDTA cost per kg went up to Rs.167 as compared to Rs.150 per kg. This means from the following quarters the company will not have this factor this; as far as the standalone results are compared. But we are more interested in the CONSOLIDATED RESULTS, because the shareholders generally look at the consolidated results, to find how a company is faring, isn't it? Moreover, we invest in a company depending on its future outlook. 

Now let us see what the company said in a BSE filling. 

(a) The Consolidating Operating Earnings Before Interest Depreciation and Tax (EBIDTA) is HIGHER at Rs.167 Cr as against Rs.130 Cr last year. The increase in EBIDTA was mainly due to increase in production and prices for Uganda and Rwanda operation. So, does that look SCARY? 

Black Tea production during 2015, was negatively impacted by lower production in India and Kenya. Tea prices at Mombasa auction increase by 20% over previous year. However, tea prices in India maintained at last year's level. 

(b) We observed COMPLETE REVERSAL of these FACTORS during the FIRST FOUR MONTHS of the current year. 

Tea production in Kenya is reported to be HIGHER by 40 million kg upto March, as compared to previous year on account of much improved weather conditions. 

Tea prices at Mombasa auction during the first four months of the year have decreased by 20% as compared to last year. 

Weather conditions in India during the first few months of new season have IMPROVED substantially as compared to dry weather conditions last year. It is expected that the industry would recover substantial part of crop losses suffered last year. 

Prices in India are likely to REMAIN FIRM mainly due to ROBUST DEMAND in Indian as well as Global markets. Recovery of crop should help in setting of increase in the wages and other input costs. 

Now what does it mean? It indicates that the company is expected to perform much better than the previous year's performance. 

Moreover, in an interview with a Business Channel, CNBC-TV18, its Chief Financial Officer Mr.Kamal Baheti, said that the Tea company McLeod Russel  expects to produce 87 million kilograms of tea at its plantations in India, and 30 million kilograms at its overseas plantations. 

He said last year was difficult, but he expected a better performance this year. Baheti expects domestic realisations to imporve by 5 % this year and overseas realisations by 15-20%.

He said the company aimed to export 21-22 million kilograms of tea this year, compared to 13 million kilograms last year.

Also, remember, McLeod Russel is the largest tea plantation company in the world. It prides itself on running a successful business that directly employs over 90,000 people and has an excellent reputation around the world.

Hence, I would suggest the shareholders, to accumulate the scrip on all declines for an increased short term price target of Rs.220. 
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