After languishing in the red for most part of early trades, the Indian equity market indices made inroads into the positive territory post noon. This was in reaction to the RBI's policy move which saw the statutory liquidity ratio being reduced by 1% to 23% of deposits. Stocks from the energy and auto sectors evinced investor interest. While the Sensex today closed higher by around 92 points, the NSE-Nifty today closed higher by 29 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap also did well to notch gains of 0.5% each. Banking stocks, however, closed in the red.
As regards global markets, barring China most Asian indices closed firm today while European indices have also opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 55.58 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Asian Paints has announced the first quarter results of financial year 2012-2013. Topline increased 12.5% YoY while bottom line increased 9.4% YoY during the quarter. Top line grew 12.5% YoY in 1QFY13. The growth was fueled by a price increase of 3.2% undertaken during the quarter. Operating margins were relatively flat at 17.5% in 1QFY13. Inflationary trend in the raw material costs have eased out a bit but rupee depreciation continues to hurt the company. The raw material price index for the decorative products stood at 106.7 in 1QFY13, on a base of 100. The company's net profits increased 9.4% YoY in 1QFY13 due to strong performance at the operating level. The capacity expansion at Khandala plant is on schedule. The first phase is expected to go on stream by 4QFY13. Planned capex for FY13 is about Rs 7.5 bn.
Meanwhile, retailing major Titan reported sales growth of 9.2% YoY for 1QFY13. Slowdown was particularly visible in the high growth jewellery segment that grew by only 7.8% YoY during the quarter. The company's watch segment grew by 14.4% YoY and others including eye wear by 15.7% YoY. The operating expenses were up by 9% YoY during the quarter. Slower growth in top line resulted in operating profits increasing in similar manner by 10.4% YoY. Operating margins were stable at 9.5%. A disappointing growth in top line resulted in lower profits for Titan. Even a lower rise in taxes could not help the company much which reported net profit growth of 8.8% YoY during the quarter. Net profit margins however remained stable at 7% levels.