The performance of Indian firms has proved many analysts wrong. None can miss the trend of accelerated growth both in sales as well as net profit even though the analysts’ community was apprehending a slowdown. Concerns about rising interest rates, input costs and liquidity remain, but the overall volume growth, led by consumer demand, has more than offset these. Some of the sectors have actually seen an increasing pricing power. Construction and engineering firms have done well in sync with the overall growth in the economy. That’s true for consumption-related sectors such as fast moving consumer goods, consumer durables and real estate as well. By any yardstick, the cement industry was the star performer of the year, backed by growing demand and rising prices. The automobile sector, particularly the two-wheeler segment, was the worst hit because of a hike in input costs and pressure on profit margins, led by intense competition. Visibility on the outlook of Indian corporations’ earnings is somewhat clouded. While healthy order books of construction and engineering sectors indicate growing business, the rise of the rupee against the dollar will hurt the earnings of infotech firms. Rising interest rates will impact certain sectors such as automobiles and real estate. Going forward, a slowdown won’t surprise anybody, particularly because it will come on a significantly higher base courtesy last year’s performance.
Updated: Thu, May 31 2007. 09 55 PM IST