huhtamaki india ltd share price Management discussions


ABOUT HUHTAMAKI INDIA LIMITED

Huhtamaki India Limited (Huhtamaki India) is Indias leading manufacturer of flexible consumer packaging and labelling solutions. Backed by the parentage of Huhtamaki Oyj - with a rich Nordic heritage and an established legacy of over 100 years - we are at the forefront of leveraging innovation and our packaging solutions expertise to emerge as the one-stop shop for all packaging needs.

Our ambition is to be the first choice for sustainable packaging solutions. We strive to earn this position every day with our leading innovative products that ensure hygiene and safety. We believe in protecting food, people and the planet, and enable affordability and accessibility to food and everyday necessities for people around the world.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Global economy

Over the year 2023, the global economic landscape showed signs of stabilisation. This stability was catalysed by a fast-recovering US economy and the resilience of large emerging markets. The other factors facilitating this revival were the faster-than-expected decline in inflation to 6.9% in 2023. This was largely due to the easing of supply-side issues and stringent monetary policies. Inflation is set to further reduce to 5.8% in 2024 and 4.4% in 2025, signalling a turn towards more stable global economic conditions.

The receding threat of a global recession was accompanied by a combination of favourable factors that have collectively facilitated global growth - the resilience of labour markets, an uptick in household consumption demand and the vigour of emerging economies. The strength of the job market also played an important role in creating a conducive environment for growth. There was a noticeable relaxation in labour markets and wage growth remained moderate, providing consumers with greater financial stability and boosting discretionary spending. However, the period also saw challenges such as high borrowing costs and increasing government debts in some advanced and emerging market economies.

Global GDP growth

(in %)

Country/Region 2023 2024 (P)
World 3.1 3.1
Advanced Economies (AEs) 1.6 1.5
Emerging Markets and Developing Economies (EMDEs) 4.1 4.1
United States 2.5 2.1
Euro area 0.5 0.9
United Kingdom 0.5 0.6
China 5.2 4.6
India 6.7 6.5
Russia 3.0 2.6

Source: World Economic Outlook, January 2024, IMF Note: P stands for projected

Outlook

The near-term global economic landscape is characterised by an array of risks and potential uplifts. The intensifying geopolitical situation in certain regions can have major repercussions for the global economy. At the same time, multiple countries have tightened monetary policies to tame inflation, thus denting the demand for consumer and business products. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global growth is projected at 3.1% in 2024 and is expected to slightly increase to 3.2% in 2025. Advanced economies are expected to experience a slight dip in growth this year, followed by a rise in 2025, driven by the recovery in the euro area and a moderate growth in the United States. The US, in particular, is projected to see a slight decrease in growth rates, from 2.5% in 2023 to 2.1% in 2024, influenced by the delayed effects of monetary and fiscal policies. The euro area, recovering from low growth, is anticipated to see a rise from 0.5% in 2023 to 1.7% in 2025.

Emerging markets and developing economies are expected to maintain a steady growth in 2024 and 2025, as per IMF. In Asia, Chinas growth is projected at 4.6% in 2024 and 4.1% in 2025, while Indias remain robust at 6.5% for both years. Latin America is forecasted to see growth fluctuations with a slight decline in 2024 followed by an increase in 2025. The Middle East and Central Asia, as well as sub-Saharan Africa, are projected to experience growth recovery in the coming years. World trade is expected to maintain a steady pace of 3.3% in 2024 and 3.6% in 2025. This reflects the resilience of global trade despite restrictions and geopolitical fragmentation.

Inflation is set to further reduce to 5.8% in 2024 and 4.4% in 2025, signalling a turn towards more stable global economic conditions.

Source: World Economic Outlook, January 2024, IMF

Indian economy

India has emerged as the 5th largest global economy, with its GDP estimated at $3.7 Trillion in FY2024. As the fastest growing major economy in the world in a challenging environment, the countrys strength lies in domestic consumption, driven by favourable demographics and rising disposable income. A combination of factors including government reforms, significant investments in building physical and digital infrastructure, and boosting manufacturing through the ‘Make in India initiative and production-linked incentive scheme (PLI) have catalysed its growth, resilience and self-reliance. According to a report by the National Statistical Office (NSO), based on the First Advance Estimates of National Income, Indias real GDP is likely to grow at 7.3% for FY2024. This rise in growth is backed by a broad-based strengthening of the industrial sectors, particularly manufacturing, and buoyed by easing input costs and surging profitability. Manufacturing PMI remains above the 50-mark threshold, driven by a healthy growth in steel, cement and automobile manufacturing, among others. At the same time, infrastructure, real estate and construction sectors recorded impressive growth.

In addition, inflation had eased in the third quarter of FY2024 to a four-month low of 4.9%. The Reserve Bank of Indias (RBI) hawkish stance on inflation without jeopardising growth, has led to a stability in the interest rate environment, creating space for long-term investment and spending. Even though there was a surge in prices for commodities like cereals, fruits, vegetables, pulses and spices, the food and beverage sector adapted well to the inflation challenge. This was evident in increased household consumption and consumer confidence. In terms of the big picture, the Indian economy is navigating three major trends: the end of hyper-globalisation in manufacturing; the impact of Artificial Intelligence on services, trade and employment; and the imperative of energy transition amidst the need for economic growth. The governments response to these challenges includes a shift towards onshoring and friend-shoring of production, balancing the effect of AI on cost competitiveness in digital services and exceeding non-fossil fuel power generation targets while sustaining economic growth.

Share of private final consumption expenditure in GDP

Source: NSO, MOSPI : Note: RE stands for Revised Estimates, PE for Provisional Estimates and FAE for First Advance Estimates

Outlook

The Indian economy is expected to sustain real GDP growth above 7% over the next few years. With inflation likely to gradually align with targets by 2025, the economy will likely benefit from eased monetary policies. The public policy emphasis on infrastructure is set to drive gross fixed capital formation. Additionally, a boost in rural demand, supported by government initiatives like the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will further fuel consumption.

Manufacturing enterprises will be critical in fostering functional ecosystems – creating jobs, enhancing income generation and developing opportunities for consumption and infrastructure investments. By streamlining policy reforms and cultivating vertical markets, India is enhancing its participation in global value chains.

The rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, coupled with the expansion of digital infrastructure, has created a strong foundation for top-tier global tech and e-commerce companies to enter India. This is expected to reshape the retail consumer market landscape in the coming decade. With continued reforms in key areas like skilling, health, energy security, MSMEs and gender balance in the workforce, India remains on course to become a $7 Trillion economy by 2030.

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

Global packaging industry

The global packaging industry has grown rapidly over the last few decades. The significant factors governing the global packaging market are changing consumer preferences, technology breakthroughs, environmental concerns and a rapidly growing e-commerce market. Further, the provisions of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) have made producers legally and financially responsible for mitigating the environmental impacts of their products and packaging. This has led to the evolution of high quality, convenient, and sustainable packaging materials and processes. The packaging industry is estimated to be worth $1.1 Trillion in 2024 and is expected to grow to $1.4 Trillion by 2029, according to Mordor Intelligence. Between 2024 to 2029, the industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.9%.

Packaging market ($ in Trillion)

Source: Mordor Intelligence

Growth drivers

Rapid urbanisation

In developing nations like India and Brazil, the demand for packaged goods is growing due to rapid urbanisation and rising income levels. The World Bank reports that urban population growth for these nations is substantially faster than the global average, which raises the demand for packaged goods.

Change in consumer demographics

The global demand for easy-to-transport packaging solutions is driven by shifting consumer demographics - an increasing share of working professionals and a growing middle class. As per the OECD, the number of middle-class individuals worldwide is expected to reach 4.9 Billion by 2030 from 1.8 Billion in 2009.

Prevalence of sustainability concerns

Stakeholders are progressively exerting pressure on businesses to embrace environmentally friendly practices. 73% of global consumers say they would change their consumption habits to lessen their impact on the environment, according to a Nielsen report.

Enterprises are allocating resources towards recycling infrastructure and creating materials with lower ecological footprints. Biodegradable and recyclable materials are being adopted by the industry at an increasing rate.

Innovation and product development

Personalised and smart packaging solutions are now a reality, thanks to technological advancements. The use of IoT to improve customer engagement and traceability is becoming increasingly common. With a CAGR of 6.2%, the size of the global smart packaging market is predicted to increase from $25.7 Billion in 2023 to $46.9 Billion by 2033 according to a research report published by Spherical Insights & Consulting.

• The use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for electronic tagging and tracking is also increasing, especially as RFID costs decrease.

• Stand-up pouches are becoming popular as they offer the benefits of portability, resealability and the ability to stand upright on shelves for better visibility and space utilisation. They are much lighter than glass bottles and cans.

Increased demand for flexible packaging

• With over 60% of the market share in the food packaging industry, flexible packaging is transforming the industry landscape. This change is spurred by the consumer preference for convenient, resealable and long-lasting packaging as well as the adaptability and effectiveness of these solutions. The global market for flexible packaging is projected to grow from $160.8 Billion in 2020 to $200.5 Billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 4.5% between 2020 and 2025.

• More adaptable and sustainable substrate options are replacing traditional rigid formats in the packaging industry. For instance, high-barrier films minimise food waste and provide a longer shelf life. Compared to more conventional rigid pack formats like glass jars and metal tins, high-barrier films are more economical and possess better barrier qualities.

Market size by region

With their sizeable food and beverage markets, nations like China and India are driving demand for the packaging industry – making Asia-Pacific a significant growth region. At the same time, recyclable and sustainable packaging options have become the subject of significant policy changes.

The industry is being shaped by sustainability initiatives and regulatory changes as businesses place a greater emphasis on planet-friendly packaging options.

Global packaging market - growth rate by region (2022-27)

Indian packaging industry

The Indian packaging industry is being shaped by a host of growth drivers. With an estimated market size of $84.4 Billion in 2024, it is projected to reach $142.6 Billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 11.0% during the forecast period (2024-2029).

Packaging market ($ in Trillion)

Source: Mordor Intelligence

Growth drivers

Rising disposable income and consumer demand

• Increased disposable income of Indias large and growing middle class is boosting consumption. Consumers are also willing to spend more on products that offer additional value, including better packaging.

• Indian consumers are also focusing more on health and hygiene, post-pandemic. This awareness has created a demand for packaging that ensures product integrity, safety and extended shelf life.

Multinational investment

Multinational corporations are progressively investing in sectors like food, beverages, cosmetics, toiletries and pharmaceuticals in India. These investments are contributing to the growth of organised retail, which, in turn, supports the packaging industry.

Rise of e-commerce

E-commerce and online food services industry require packaging solutions that can withstand the rigours of transportation, enhance the unboxing experience and maintain the quality and hygiene of the contents.

Indias leadership in the pharmaceutical industry

India has emerged as a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry. The industry demands highly regulated and safe packaging. This is because packaging plays an important role in ensuring the efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical products during storage and transportation.

Indias flexible packaging industry

The flexible packaging industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% from 2023 to 2028. The industry is projected to increase by $15.57 Billion during the forecast period.

Growth drivers

Growing retail sector

The retail sector is developing rapidly in tier-1 and tier-2 cities, leading to a growing demand for flexible packaging. The food and grocery retail market is a major driver for flexible packaging in India. Nearly 70% of total retail sales in this sector necessitate reliable and quality packaging solutions.

Industry-wide collaborations

The industry is witnessing collaborations and partnerships with the goal of developing new materials and recycling technologies. These collaborations span the entire value chain, involving material suppliers, packaging manufacturers, brand owners and recycling companies.

Ease of transport

High logistics costs in India are prompting a shift towards more cost-effective packaging solutions. Flexible packaging involves lower transportation and storage costs compared to rigid packaging, thus becoming the preferred choice for businesses.

Customisation

The demand for digitally printed packaging is increasing as it offers design freedom, customisation, flexibility, and faster turnaround times, especially for smaller batch sizes.

Overview of end-use industries

Food and beverage industry

The FMCG market is Indias fourth-largest sector and one of the main drivers of the economy. The food and beverage (F&B) industry, a major component of the FMCG sector is the principal consumer of packaging solutions. The F&B industry is witnessing a shift toward creative packaging solutions, effected by a change in consumer preferences and rising demands for sustainable and convenient options. As the F&B industry grows, so would the food packaging market. According to All India Food Processors Association, food packaging is growing by 14.8% annually and expected to reach $86 Billion in 2029.

Pharmaceutical industry

The need for safe and compliant packaging is being driven by an expanding healthcare industry as well as increased public awareness of health issues. The Indian pharmaceutical packaging market was valued at $1,434.1 Million in 2020 and is projected to reach $3,027.14 Million by 2030 at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2021 to 2030, according to Research and Markets.

Personal care and cosmetics industry

With higher disposable income and changing consumer lifestyles, theres a heightened demand for personal care and cosmetic products. Indias beauty and personal care market is projected to touch $30 Billion by 2027, accounting for about 5% of the global market, according to a report launched by Redseer Strategy Consultants along with Peak XV. This necessitates high-quality and sophisticated packaging.

E-commerce

The e-commerce sector has seen rapid expansion since the pandemic, catalysing a need for durable and sustainable packaging to ensure product safety. Indian e-commerce is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27% to reach $163 Billion by 2026, as per India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). The packaging industry will hugely benefit from this growth, especially in the areas of logistics and shipment packaging solutions.

COMPANY OVERVIEW

Operational overview

In 2023, Huhtamaki India reported revenue from operations (net of GST) of 25,494.4 Million as against 29,829.2 Million in 2022. The EBITDA (before exceptional items) of 2023 was 2,101.8 Million as against 1,742.6 Million in 2022. The average return on equity for 2023 is 43.0% compared to 6.7% in 2022. Our market capitalisation as on December 31,

2023, stood at 21,644.6 Million.

Revenue from operations

Revenue from operations decreased by 14.5% in 2023 against 2022.

Revenue from operations

( in Million)

Year Turnover
2019 25,989.8
2020 24,627.0
2021 26,252.8
2022 29,829.2
2023 25,494.4

Note: The erosion in the topline during 2023 is partly due to strategic position taken and partly due to lower offtake in some specific categories

EBITDA and PAT

Operating profit (EBITDA) before exceptional items witnessed a 20.6% increase in 2023 as against 2022. This is majorly on account of network optimisation by consolidating the manufacturing footprint, operational efficiency resulting in cost optimisation, overhead reduction and stability in input prices. Profit after tax stood at 4,096.3 Million in 2023 as against 496.4 Million in 2022 driven majorly by exceptional income of 3,695.3 Million.

EPS and dividend

The EPS for 2023 (excluding exceptional items) is 16.3 as against 6.6 in 2022. We have proposed a dividend of 5 per equity share of face value of 2 each for the year 2023.

Reserves and surplus, capital expenditure and fixed assets

At the end of the 2023, reserves and surplus were at 11,353.5 Million as against 7,418.5 Million at the end of 2022. Our fixed assets at the end of 2023 were at 6,143.4 Million as against 5,138.3 Million at the end of 2022. Capital expenditure during 2023 was 1,413.9 Million.

Debt working and capital returns

Gross debt as of December 31, 2023 was 2,029.5 Million compared to 3,661.5 Million as of December 31, 2022, a decrease of 44.6% y-o-y.

Debt working and capital returns

( in Million)

Year
Particulars 2022 2023
Inventory 2,979.9 2,698.9
Debtors 6,587.0 5,510.0
Current liabilities 7,393.0 5,851.5
Loans and advances 1,138.2 764.3
Cash flow from operations 1,326.5 2,735.8
Return on equity (RoE) (%) 6.7% 43.0%
Return on capital employed (RoCE) (%) 7.9% 11.9%

Key financial ratios

Name of ratio 2022 2023 Explanation for significant change (above 25%)
Current ratio 1.4 2.2 The current ratio has improved in current year primarily due to reduction in current borrowings and increase in bank balance and investments.
Debt-equity ratio 0.5 0.2 The ratios have improved due to reduction in total borrowings.
Debt service coverage ratio 7.3 1.1
Net profit ratio (in %) 1.7% 16.1%
Operating profit ratio 3.0% 20.8% The ratios have improved primarily on account of exceptional income during the year.
Return on net worth 6.7% 43.0%

Risk management

Huhtamaki India employs a structured approach towards risk management that is central to our strategic and operational planning. The Risk Committee operates under a robust risk management framework and is guided by Huhtamaki Group Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Policy. Regular meetings conducted periodically, enable the committee to review and discuss key risks, potential impacts and the implementation of mitigation strategies.

Understanding and addressing key risks

Huhtamaki India recognises the dynamic nature of the business environment, which presents both significant risks and opportunities. Our future growth hinges on our agility in predicting and responding to changes and our commitment to innovation, particularly in developing sustainable packaging solutions.

Regulatory risks: The evolving regulatory landscape, especially concerning ban on materials and recycled content requirements, poses a challenge. Huhtamaki Indias strategy involves leading an evidence-based discourse on packagings value in promoting hygiene, food safety and waste reduction. Early tracking of regulatory changes enables us to align our product development and commercialisation efforts accordingly.

Competitive and customer-related risks: Shifts in the competitive environment and reliance on major customers are critical considerations. Our ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences and technological shifts is pivotal. Engaging in active dialogues with customers and fostering cross-functional collaborations are key to managing these risks while capturing growth opportunities.

Technological and operational risks: The risk of technological obsolescence and operational inefficiencies is mitigated through continuous monitoring of long-term needs, investment in research and development, intellectual property protection and strategic partnerships.

Macro-level risks: Economic volatility and geopolitical tensions are monitored closely and continuously. The recent geopolitical events, such as the Ukraine conflict and the resulting economic implications, highlight the importance of vigilance and adaptability in our operations.

Human resource risks: Talent availability is crucial for our success. We employ a comprehensive strategy for talent reviews, succession planning and career development initiatives to attract and retain top talent.

Operational and financial risks: Managing price volatility and cost escalations in raw materials and energy is critical. Our risk management strategy includes diverse supplier networks, contractual safeguards and continuous monitoring of market trends to mitigate these risks effectively.

Cybersecurity and compliance risks: Protecting our IT infrastructure against cyber threats and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations are paramount. Continuous improvement programs, disaster recovery planning and compliance training form the backbone of our risk mitigation efforts in these areas.

ESG risks: Our approach involves continuous assessment and mitigation of risks related to regulatory changes, environmental impact and social accountability. By integrating ESG considerations into our operational and strategic planning, we strive to minimise negative impacts while enhancing our corporate reputation and ensuring long-term sustainability and compliance.

Focus areas for FY2024

As we prepare for the upcoming financial year, Huhtamaki India will be guided by five core priorities that are integral to our vision of leading with innovation and sustainability in the flexible packaging industry.

People

Everyone Safe Home, Happy @Huhtamaki - Ensuring the safety and well-being of our team members is paramount. We are committed to creating an environment where everyone feels secure and valued, fostering a culture of happiness and inclusion within the workplace.

Innovation

First-to-Market Sustainable Products - We aim to be the first-to-market products that meet and exceed environmental and consumer expectations. This is exemplified through the blueloop™ initiative that focuses on developing sustainable packaging solutions.

Customer Excellence

‘Where to Play, ‘Play to Win - Strategic market positioning and customer engagement are at the heart of our approach. By understanding where our strengths lie, we will concentrate our efforts in sectors where we can deliver maximum value, ensuring a competitive edge and fostering long-term partnerships.

World-class Operations

Productive, Agile, Cost-effective - Operational efficiency is key to our success. We are focusing on enhancing our productivity, agility and cost-effectiveness to remain competitive in the global market. This involves streamlining our processes, adopting innovative technologies and continuously improving our operations.

Compliance

Adherence to legal, regulatory and ethical standards is non- negotiable. Compliance ensures that all our actions and decisions are guided by a commitment to doing business responsibly and sustainably.

People

In 2023, Huhtamaki Indias people strategy was centred on creating a high-performance culture through continuous personal and professional development. Embracing our core values of Care, Dare and Deliver, we prioritised innovative training programmes, leadership development and talent inclusion. Our approach was focused on skill enhancement and the overall well-being and engagement of our employees. We leveraged digital transformation in HR processes to enhance efficiency and employee experience. This was reflected in our strong engagement scores and reduced attrition rates, demonstrating our dedication to creating a supportive, inclusive and dynamic work environment. Read more on PAGE 28.

INTERNAL CONTROLS

Internal financial control systems of the Company are commensurate with its size and the nature of its operations. These have been designed to provide reasonable assurance by recording and providing reliable financial and operational information, in compliance with applicable accounting standards and relevant statutes. It has led to the safeguarding of assets from unauthorised use, execution of transactions with proper authorisation, and ensuring compliance with corporate policies.

The Audit Committee deliberated with the members of the management, considered the laid-down systems and met internal and statutory auditors to ascertain their views on the internal financial control systems. The Audit Committee reviewed the control systems and found them to be adequate and effective. The Committee keeps the Board of Directors informed about their concerns, if any, on the financial control systems. However, the Company recognises that no matter how the internal control framework is, it has inherent limitations. Periodic audits and reviews ensure that such systems are updated at regular intervals. The Company has an independent internal audit function with well-established risk management processes both at the business and corporate levels. The scope and authority of the internal audit function are derived from the Internal Audit Charter approved by the Audit Committee.

The Company has engaged a reputable external firm to support the Internal Auditor in carrying out the internal audit reviews. Reviews are conducted on an ongoing basis through a comprehensive risk-based audit plan, approved by the Audit Committee at the beginning of each year. The Audit Committee meets on a periodic basis to review and discuss the internal audit reports and follow-up action plans, considering the audit issues and compliance with the audit plan. The Chairperson of the Audit Committee has periodic meetings with the Internal Auditor to discuss any key concerns.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT

The report contains forward-looking statements that may be identified by their use of words such as ‘plans, ‘expects, ‘will, ‘anticipates, ‘intends, ‘projects, ‘estimates or other words of similar meaning. All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the Companys strategy for growth, market position, expenditures and financial results are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions and expectations of future events. The Company cannot guarantee that these assumptions and expectations are accurate or will be realised.