Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a key player in India’s power sector, recently unveiled its financial report for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023, revealing a shift from profitability to losses. This trend has persisted in subsequent quarters, signaling challenges within the industry.
In the disclosed results, BHEL reported a standalone net loss of ₹163 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2023, marking a significant downturn from the net profit of ₹31 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. The company’s revenue from operations, however, displayed a positive trajectory, with a notable 4.5 percent increase in Q3FY24 compared to the same quarter of the previous fiscal year, reaching ₹5,504 crore.
The decline in profitability for BHEL can be primarily attributed to the escalating costs of essential raw materials such as steel, copper, and rubber. Throughout the calendar year 2023, the prices of these raw materials surged, resulting in a substantial 19 percent rise in raw material costs for BHEL in the December quarter alone. Despite this challenge, BHEL managed to mitigate some of the impact through a 6.8 percent increase in operational earnings, totaling ₹5273.49 crore.
Amidst these challenges, BHEL has found solace in the growing demand for electricity in India, leveraging its significant stake in the country’s coal-based power production. Official data indicates a robust expansion in India’s industrial production, with electricity generation witnessing a remarkable 20.4 percent upsurge in October, followed by consistent growth in subsequent months. As a result, BHEL observed a 2 percent growth in its power revenue and a substantial 28 percent increase in its industrial revenue, reflecting the resilience of its core segments amidst broader industry challenges.
While BHEL faces headwinds in terms of profitability due to rising raw material costs, its strategic positioning in India’s power sector provides a ray of hope amidst industry turbulence. The company’s ability to adapt to evolving market dynamics will be crucial in navigating through the uncertainties and emerging stronger in the long run.