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The story doesn’t change much with the exclusion of the oil companies, the earnings of which depend on the subsidy-sharing whims of the government. The 364 firms of the BSE-500, excluding the oil companies that have declared their results, have seen net profit fall 19.65% y-o-y. In contrast, these firms saw a 5.38% y-o-y rise in net profit during the September 2008 quarter and a 12.25% fall in net profit in the December 2008 quarter. Indian companies seem to be having a tougher time this time around.

Also See | Earnings Downturn (PDF)

Investment demand is now in worse shape than it was after the Lehman crisis. And analysts say that the bottom of the cycle hasn’t been reached, which means profit growth could continue to deteriorate in the next few quarters.

So far, however, most estimates of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2010-11 range between 7% and 7.5%. In 2008-09, real GDP growth was lower at 6.8%. Do the corporate numbers indicate that GDP growth this year could slow even more than the revised estimates?

Graphics by Yogesh Kumar/Mint

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