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Bharti Airtel reported net profits of Rs.759 crore for the Mar-21 quarter compared to a net loss of Rs-5,237 crore in the Mar-20 quarter on account of huge asset impairments provided for. Net profits were lower by 11% on a sequential basis. Total revenues from operations were up 12% at Rs.25,747 crore. The ARPU for the quarter were lower at Rs.145 compared to Rs.166 in Dec-20 quarter. Revenues from India business were up 9.6% yoy while revenues from mobile services rose 19% on strong customer additions.
In a setback for India, ONGC Videsh Ltd or OVL lost the Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf which OVL had discovered. Iran awarded the contract for developing the gas field to a local company. NIOC has signed a $1.78 billion deal with Petropars Group of Iran for the development of the Farzad-B Gas Field. The field holds 23 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves. OVL had offered to invest up to $11 billion to develop Farzad-B but Iran had refused to give a commitment. India has already invested a huge $400 million in the block.
India wholesale inflation or WPI inflation came in higher at 10.49% for Apr-21. This was led by a surge in fuel and manufactured product prices. This is the highest WPI inflation in more than 8 years and is a clear indication of the pressure on costs that manufacturers are facing due to supply chain constraints. For Apr-21, wholesale food inflation was at 4.92%, manufacturing inflation at 9.01% and fuel inflation at a huge 21%. This is a contrast to the CPI inflation which moderated to 4.29% in Apr-21 due to the high base effect.
Balkrishna Industries shot up by 9% to touch a life-time high price of Rs.2,062 on 17 May. For the Mar-21 quarter, the company had reported 29% spike in standalone revenues at Rs.1,746 crore on healthy OEM and replacement demand. Even the EBITDA margins had expanded by 254 basis points to 31.9% on a yoy basis. The net profits had grown by 45% at Rs.372 crore. The stock shot up after BKT guided sales volumes of 265,000 MT. BKT has integrated backward by setting up a carbon black plant as a natural cost hedge.
Gland Pharma reported 34% higher net profits at Rs.260 crore for the Mar-21 quarter on the strength of robust sales growth. Total revenues for the Mar-21 quarter came in Rs.888 crore compared to Rs.635 crore in the Mar-20 quarter. For the full FY21, revenues were higher by 32% at Rs.3,463 crore. The vaccine vertical is expected to accelerate Gland Pharma’s long-term strategy of entering into the Biosimilar space. Gland Pharma had listed just a few months back with its Rs.6,000 crore IPO in the Indian IPO markets.
Panacea Biotech filed a suit before Delhi High Court to restrain Sanofi Healthcare India from marketing a fully liquid hexavalent vaccine. Panacea’s contention is that such a move by Sanofi would infringe its patent for its liquid Hexavalent Vaccine, EasySix. Panacea has submitted that Sanofi had been contesting the patent before the Indian Patent Office since 2017. The EasySix vaccine comes in a pre-filled syringe and vaccinates against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Hepatitis B, influenza and Inactivated Polio.
Shilpa Medicare stock rallied nearly 14% on Monday after it entered into a 3-year definitive agreement with Reddy Labs for the production and supply of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine. Shilpa has rallied close to 80% in the last 2 months. Its subsidiary, Shilpa Biologicals, will produce and supply the Sputnik-V vaccine from its manufacturing plant at Dharwad. Shilpa targets to produce 50 million doses of Component 1 and an equal quantity of Component 2 on behalf of DRL. It is also exploring Sputnik Light, a single dose vaccine.
Lupin is acquiring licences and partnerships for various COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, after it appears to have clearly missed out the opportunity during the first round of the pandemic. Lupin is also exploring its partnerships with Pfizer and Moderna for COVID-19 vaccines. Lupin has shown keenness to license mRNA jabs from Pfizer and Moderna. In the Mar-21 quarter, Lupin saw North America sales slide by 5% yoy. However, sales were up sequentially on the back of ramp-up in albuterol. The US is 40% of Lupin sales.
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