The market is expecting CESC to go through a restructuring process but the company‘s Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said the board did not discuss this aspect in the meeting today. He said consultants are reviewing the restructuring exercise and will present to board soon. They are also evaluating various options of restructuring, he added.
The market is anticipating CESC to go through a restructuring process but company’s Chairman, Sanjiv Goenka said the board did not discuss this aspect in the meeting today. He said consultants are reviewing the restructuring exercise and will present to board soon. They are also evaluating various options of restructuring, he added.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Goenka said he expects financial year 2017 to be slightly better than financial year 2016.
Spencer’s business is turning profitable and Goenka thinks it is a good time to list the company. He said for six months, Spencer's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) has been consistent.
Further, Goenka said that power is also coming in from company’s sister unit at Haldia and they have signed another 185 mega watt for its Chandrapur unit.
He is also optimistic about the performance of FirstSource.
Below is the transcript of Sanjiv Goenka’s interview to Ekta Batra and Reema Tendulkar on CNBC-TV18.
Ekta: Before we get to the Q3 performance, the street is anticipating or awaiting more details on a likely restructuring that the company might be considering at this point in time considering that you have so many interests in various businesses. Can you start by giving us an update on where that plan stands?
A: Various things are being examined. Nothing has come to the board yet, but there are consultants who are reviewing this whole un-bundling exercise and hopefully, they will present it to the board shortly. But no, the board did not consider it today.
Reema: How probable is a three-way demerger? One, you focus on your distribution business, secondly, on generation and thirdly, there will be an entity which houses the rest of the business like Firstsource and Spencer’s. So, a three-way demerger, if you could tell us how probable it is in terms of one of the options for restructuring?
A: How do you expect me to comment on something like this? All I can say is that if you have very good consultants, I am sure whatever they recommend would be sensible and in the best interest of all the stakeholders of the company. It would be inappropriate for me to say anything more at this stage, but yes, it is something our advisors are evaluating and would come back to us shortly and then the board will consider it and we will brief you appropriately.
Ekta: Let us talk about this quarter’s numbers then. I just wanted to focus on the margins. You had another expense which was higher by around 23 percent. Any sort of one-offs this quarter in terms of the numbers and what might your guidance as well be in terms of the margin projection for the rest of the year?
A: For the year as a whole we would be slightly better, slightly ahead of last year. It would be pretty much, you have seen a similar trend through the three quarters. This quarter numbers have been recast for Indian accounting standards. When you will see the full year results, that will be recast completely as per Indian accounting standards, so there may be some differences because of that, but fundamentally, power is also coming in from our sister unit at Haldia which comes in as a purchase and so that will come in as an expense as opposed to own generation.
Reema: How has the Spencer’s business performed? It has been operationally in the black for the last two quarters, but on an annual basis, when do you think it will be profitable and any plans of an initial public offering (IPO) for the Spencer’s business now that profitability is improving?
A: Spencer’s is ripe for listing for sure. It is absolutely ripe for listing and we have had six months of continuous and consistent corporate level earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) positive. We are now set. The company’s last quarter, we had revenues of Rs 1,740 per sq ft which was way higher than we have ever had and way higher than the industry best. So, it is getting its act together. Spencer’s launches its new apparel section and apparel, as you know, contributes much higher margins than food. It launches next week and so that should add margins. We are very optimistic about the performance of Spencer’s as we go forward.
One other update I would like to share with you on power is that we have signed another 185 megawatt, actually a power purchase agreement (PPA) for another 185 megawatt from our unit at Chandrapur. That takes the total contracted amount to about, it was first 170, then 100 and now another 185 megawatt. So, what is left is just about 90 megawatt now.
Ekta: What are the plans with Firstsource? Would you be looking to monetise your stake in any way? Could we get a strategic investor or something more which could be on the cards?
A: Firstsource is doing exceedingly well and I had shared with all of you the contract that we got with Sky where they consolidated all their vendors and we will single-point consolidation. It means that we will add 1,200 full-time employees (FTE) in UK. It is a huge big contract, it is something that we are very excited about. It is something that we believe will contribute significantly to th3e bottomlines and toplines for Firstsource as we go forward. So, again I am fairly optimistic about the performance of Firstsource. I do believe that the company has great potential and we are always looking, CESC, Firstsource, Spencer’s, Phillips Carbon Black, Saregama, all our companies, we always have a very strong attempt to try and increase shareholder value and give the best return to all our shareholders.