India’s Bajaj Electricals posts plunge in Q2 profit on weak demand, stiff competition

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s Bajaj Electricals posted a 56% fall in its second-quarter profit on Monday, hurt by pricing pressures due to stiff competition and muted demand caused by a delayed festive period.

Its consumer products business, which includes appliances like grinders and microwaves and constitutes more than three-fourths of the total revenue, contracted by 2.9% year-on-year while its lighting business fell 7.4%.

Chairman Shekhar Bajaj, in a statement, blamed weak consumer demand and pricing constraints for the fall in the revenue in both businesses.

The kitchen appliances industry is witnessing heightened competitive pressure with the entry of fast-moving electric goods players with aggressive price points, forcing traditional players to resort to heavy discounts.

Margins in the consumer products unit were “under pressure due to price discounting in a weak environment”, the company said in its earnings presentation.

Bajaj Electricals’ consolidated net profit fell to 272.8 million rupees ($3.28 million) in the July-September quarter, from 620 million rupees a year earlier.

The festive season, when most Indians splurge, including on electronic items, was also delayed by a month to October this year, hurting sales in multiple consumer-facing firms.

As a result, the Mumbai-based company’s revenue from operations fell nearly 4% to 11.12 billion rupees.

Bajaj Electricals shares dropped as much as 4.6% after the results, but recovered to close up 0.5%. ($1 = 83.2100 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)