Most listed multinationals see profit growth in Jul-Sep
Most listed multinationals logged higher profits during this year’s July-September quarter, compared to the same period a year ago, riding on increased sales in the last two months of the quarter following a three-week countrywide lockdown in July.
Of the listed 13, seven registered higher profits, four logged lower profits, and two remained in losses.
“The performance of multinational companies did not face too much of an impact from the pandemic due to various reasons, including their favourable product lines,” said Mir Ariful Islam, chief executive officer of Sandhani Asset Management Company.
The first nationwide lockdown in Bangladesh this year was imposed from July 1 but the restrictions were relaxed from the 14th to the 22nd of that month for Eid celebrations
The lockdown was then re-imposed from July 23 and later extended to August 10.
Some multinational companies are doing business with consumer goods for which demand remained relatively the same amidst the pandemic, he said.
For instance, the profits of British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATBC) were not highly impacted by the pandemic while Marico Bangladesh’s profits remained stable as well.
Some of the listed multinational companies deal with construction, a sector where demand remained almost unscathed as government-run development projects continued alongside private sector projects as well.
“Their proper business policy and corporate governance saved their day. Profits of LafargeHolcim for example grew due to their diversified products,” Islam said.
Some listed multinationals faced problems of high input costs due to the pandemic so their profits were impacted. Besides, home appliance seller Singer Bangladesh’s profits dropped due to the closure of its shops during the nationwide shutdown in its main sales season.
Profits of Singer Bangladesh dropped by around 70 per cent to Tk 12 crore.
Circumstances under the Covid-19 pandemic continue to have adverse bearings on the macroeconomic performance of the country as well as the company’s operations and its financial position, Singer Bangladesh said in a disclosure.
With the deterioration of the pandemic situation since the end of the first quarter, the results achieved have deviated much more than expected, it read.
“In addition, major refrigerator sales during Eid-ul-Azha were lost due to the countrywide restrictions when all shops and dealer points were closed,” it added.
Meanwhile, Berger Paints registered 33 per cent lower profits at Tk 44 crore.
The company said its profits decreased significantly due to an increase in the prices of raw material in the international market.
Among all the multinationals, Grameenphone logged the highest profit of Tk 855 crore whereas it was Tk 859 crore a year earlier. Meanwhile, Bata Shoes incurred the highest loss of Tk 11.4 crore.
Most multinational companies rationalised their costs to cope with the post-pandemic economic situation and enhance dependency on digitalisation, according to analysts.
Rajesh K Surana, chief executive officer of LafargeHolcim Bangladesh, said his company delivered another exceptional quarter backed by strong cost control and efficiency improvements.
“In addition, our new product aggregate was highly successful and our customers continue to repose faith in our wide range of products and solutions,” he said in a press release describing the company’s quarterly performance.
“Our digital business has taken off to a new league of growth and creates the potential for continued momentum,” he added.
Robi Axiata saw the highest growth in its profits, 126 per cent, to Tk 86 crore from Tk 38 crore the year before.
Similarly, RAK Ceramics’ profits grew 58 per cent to Tk 19 crore and LafargeHolcim’s profit rose by 43 per cent to Tk 93 crore.