Zenith Birla (India) Ltd Management Discussions.

Pursuant to the amended Regulation 34 read with the Schedule V of the SEBI (listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulation, 2015 your Directors wish to report as follows:

(a) Indian Economy:

India has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world and is expected to be one of the top three economic powers of the world over the next 10-15 years, backed by its strong democracy and partnerships. Indias GDP is estimated to have increased 7.2 per cent in 2017-18 and 7 per cent in 2018-19. India has retained its position as the third largest startup base in the world with over 4,750 technology start-ups.

Indias labour force is expected to touch 160-170 million by 2020, based on rate of population growth, increased labour force participation, and higher education enrolment, among other factors Indias foreign exchange reserves were US$ 405.64 billion in the week up to March 15, 2019, according to data from the RBI.

With the improvement in the economic scenario, there have been various investments in various sectors of the economy. The M&A activity in India reached record US$ 129.4 billion in 2018 while private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) investments reached US$ 20.5 billion. Some of the important recent developments in Indian economy are as follows:

During 2018-19 (up to February 2019), merchandise exports from India have increased 8.85 per cent year-on-year to US$ 298.47 billion, while services exports have grown 8.54 per cent year-on-year to US$ 185.51 billion.

Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) reached a 14-month high in February 2019 and stood at 54.3.

Net direct tax collection for 2018-19 had crossed Rs. 10 trillion (US$ 144.57 billion) by March 16, 2019, while goods and services tax (GST) collection stood at Rs. 10.70 trillion (US$ 154.69 billion) as of February 2019.

Proceeds through Initial Public Offers (IPO) in India reached US$ 5.5 billion in 2018 and US$ 0.9 billion in Q1 2018-19.

Indias Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows reached US$ 409.15 billion between April 2000 and December 2018, with maximum contribution from services, computer software and hardware, telecommunications, construction, trading and automobiles.

Indias Index of Industrial Production (IIP) rose 4.4 per cent year-on-year in 2018-19 (up to January 2019).

Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation stood at 2.57 per cent in February 2019.

Net employment generation in the country reached a 17-month high in January 2019.

(b) Industry Structure & Developments:

Steel is a product of large and technologically complex industry having strong forward and backward linkages in terms of material flows and income generation. It is also one of the most important products of the modern world and of strategic importance to any industrial nation. From construction, industrial machinery to consumer products, steel finds its way into a wide variety of applications. It is also an industry with diverse technologies based on the nature and extent of raw materials used.

Indias steel production grew 4.5% to its highest ever level of 102 million tonnes in Year 2019. The Government of India has been proactive in addressing the issues faced by domestic steel makers. It has taken major steps to stop unfair trade and to safeguard the interests of domestic players. This has been accompanied by recovery in construction activity and shut down of excess capacities in China. China has phased out capacities to the tune of 115 million tonnes in the past two years; and is gearing up for another production cut of 30 million tonnes in 2019.

Leading steel makers in India are well poised to benefit from this development. Riding high on an all-round improvement in the growth of key sectors, namely automobiles, infrastructure, and capital goods, among others, Indias steel demand grew at a high rate of 7.9% to 91 million tonnes in FY19. This pace may accelerate further as domestic steel demand growth is pegged at 8.3% to 98.2 million tonnes in the current fiscal year (Source: JPC). In FY19, Indias per capita steel consumption grew 6.2% to 69 kg, while share of fiats improved from 42% to 44%. Indias construction activity, particularly in highways, bridges and metro lines has bolstered the demand for long steel products in recent times. Given their size, long steel products are relatively difficult to ship and hence most contractors are sourcing them locally. Domestic steel prices have started trending northwards since November 2017, owing to a surge in global prices, healthy recovery in domestic demand, and a weaker rupee. The prices though still trail international prices and hence there is a scope for further uptick in prices. Governmental measures such as the National Steel Policy and extension of anti-dumping duty on steel products, imposition of quality standards are key facilitators for the growth of domestic steel sector in India. Additionally, the Government has earmarked Rs. 14.3 Lakh crores towards infrastructure spending, which will also enhance steel demand in the domestic market.

(c) Opportunities & Threats:

In the new environment, the industry has to be steered with appropriate policy support to ensure that production of steel matches the anticipated pace of growth in consumption. Special emphasis is needed to ensure that the industry follows a sustainable path of development in respect of environmental friendliness, mineral conservation, quality of steel products, use of technology and indigenous R&D efforts to ensure that the country can, over time, reach global efficiency benchmarks to become a world leader in steel production technology, as well as in production of high end steel.

The National Steel Policy, 2017 (NSP) aims to make India a self-sufficient steel producing nation by 2030. The Policy will promote the indigenous industry to eliminate steel imports in the country by 2030. Reduction in import dependence for procuring coking coal, emphasis on BF / BOF technology, sharper focus on pelletisation and installation of slurry pipelines and conveyors, promotion of domestically manufactured steel in government procurement and production of value-added steel indigenously are the key goals of this Policy. To achieve these targets, some Indian companies have undertaken capacity expansions, which will drive their market shares further in the coming years. The acquisition of debt-laden steel companies will reduce the time for ramping up existing capacities. Investments worth US$210 billion would be required to achieve the targeted steel capacity of 300 million tonnes by 2030. Overall, the NSP will empower domestic steel makers by making them more competitive globally. In the domestic market as well, there are multiple catalysts to drive steel industry growth. Relatively lower per capita steel consumption, healthy prospects of consumption demand on the back of buoyant infrastructure growth and strong growth in the automobile and railways sector being the prominent ones. Against this backdrop, it is expected domestic steel demand would grow by around 5% in the financial year 2019-20. As the oil and gas industry is growing rapidly, the demand for steel pipes is also increasing. Features such as reliability and durability are some of the prominent factors driving the global demand for steel pipes. Steel pipes have a wide range of usability; they are used in the automotive, mining and construction industries which drive the manufacturing steel pipe industry. The available range of steel pipes becomes one of the reasons surpassing the demand of residential and non-residential sector of steel pipes. The replacement of ageing pipelines also increases the global demand of steel pipes.

However, substitutes such as iron and plastic pipes, which create diversions for the manufacturer towards other material pipes, are estimated to restrain the market growth. The corrosive behaviour of carbon steel pipes is one of the restraining factors, and the high cost of stainless steel also hinders the growth of the global steel pipe market.

The Indian steel sector is disadvantaged due to limited availability of essential raw material such as high grade Manganese ore & Chromites, cooking coal, steel grade limestone, refractory raw material, Nickel, Ferrous Scrap etc. Due to shortage of domestic coking coal, both in terms of quantity and quality, pig iron producers/ BF operators in India have to significantly depend on import of coking coal. In the recent past, multiple issues have also adversely impacted the steel sector, viz. cancellations of iron ore and coal mine allocations, delays in land acquisition, environmental clearances, which led to many of the projects facing significant cost and time overruns. Additionally, companies also faced substantially increased operating costs on account of increased logistics & raw material costs and other charges.

(d) Segment-wise or Product-wise Performance

Since your Company operates only in one Segment, segment-wise or product-wise analysis of performance is not applicable.

(e) Outlook:

During FY19, India is likely to record a robust GDP growth of 7.4% (Source: IMF). This growth will be driven by structural and wide ranging reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to widen the indirect tax base, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to address asset quality of banks and formalisation and digitisation of the economy improving business ecosystem, thrust on infrastructure development, and a liberal FDI regime. Banking reforms through recapitialisation and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code are expected to resolve the stressed assets of overleveraged corporates and restore lending support to these sectors.

To make the growth broad based and inclusive, there is a clear budgetary and policy focus on rural development to construct Rs. 3.17 Lakh km of road, Rs. 51 Lakh houses, Rs. 1.88 crores toilets and provide electricity connections to Rs. 1.75 crores new households. Rural employment too, is expected to improve with MNREGA budget expanded by Rs. 7,000 crores to Rs. 55,000 crores Further, the latest IMD forecast predicts a normal monsoon in 2019. Since over 65% of the nation is employed in the agricultural sector, this would boost the consumer expenditure resulting in improved demand prospects.

The strengthening global economy is also likely to stimulate exports. The countrys exports are expected to touch US$350 billion during 2019-20. Pick up in capital expenditure done by private corporate sector will also provide the necessary impetus to Indias GDP growth.

(f) Risks and Concerns:

Though Regulation 17 & 21 the SEBI (listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulation, 2015 is not applicable your Company has duly adopted steps for framing, implementing and monitoring the risk management plan and accordingly of your Directors has put in place critical risk management framework across the Company for identification and evaluation of all potential risks. Your Company is continuously evolving and improving systems and measures to take care of all the risk exigencies involved in the business. All inherent risks are identified, measured, monitored and regularly reported to management. The management decides measures required to overcome these risks and ensure implementation of proper risk mitigation plans. The risk report and mitigation plans are presented to the Board of Directors periodically.

(g) Internal Control Systems and their adequacy:

Your Company has an effective Internal Control System to prevent fraud and misuse of Companys resources and protect shareholders interest. Your Company has an independent Internal Audit Department to monitor and review and focus on the compliances of various business processes. The internal audit report along with audit findings and tracking of process improvements & compliances is presented for review to the Audit Committee of Board of Directors.

(h) Discussion on Financial Performance with respect to Operational Performance and state of Companys affairs:

The revenue from operations for the year has been Rs. 13,895.06 Lakh as against Rs. 13,322.97 Lakh in the previous year. Revenue from operations affected due to continued stiff competition in the market and recessionary trend. The Company also operated at lower capacity utilization due to shortage of working capital which has also impacted the profitability of the Company for the year.

Key Financial Ratio

Particulars 2018-19 2017-18
Return on Net Worth (%) 48.60 33.77
Return on Capital Employed (%) 64.37 40.99
Basic EPS (after exceptional items) (Rs.) -9.09 -3.13
Debtors Turnover 4.07 4.40
Inventory Turnover 143.83 40.75
Interest coverage ratio -16.55 -4.80
Current ratio 0.31 0.57
Debt Equity ratio -1.01 -2.86
Operating profit margin (%) -80.97 -25.54
Net profit margin (%) -85.86 -30.86

Detailed explanation of Ratios Return on Net Worth

Return on Net Worth (RONW) is a measure of profitability of a Company expressed in percentage. It is calculated by dividing total comprehensive income for the year by average Net Worth during the year.

Return on Capital Employed

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) is a financial ratio that measures a Companys profitability and the efficiency with which its capital is used. In other words, the ratio measures how well a Company is generating profits from its capital. It is calculated by dividing profit before exceptional items and tax by average capital employed during the year.

Basic EPS

Earnings Per Share (EPS) is the portion of a Companys profit allocated to each share. It serves as an indicator of a Companys profitability. It is calculated by dividing Profit for the year by Weighted average number of shares outstanding during the year.

Debtors Turnover

The above ratio is used to quantify a Companys effectiveness in collecting its receivables or money owed by customers. The ratio shows how well a Company uses and manages the credit it extends to customers and how quickly that short-term debt is collected or is paid. It is calculated by dividing turnover by average trade receivable.

Inventory Turnover

Inventory Turnover is the number of times a Company sells and replaces its inventory during a period. It is calculated by dividing turnover by inventory.

Interest Coverage Ratio

The Interest Coverage Ratio measures how many times a Company can cover its current interest payment with its available earnings. It is calculated by dividing PBIT by finance cost.

Current Ratio

The Current Ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures a Companys ability to pay short-term obligations or those due within one year. It is calculated by dividing the current assets by current liabilities.

Debt Equity Ratio

The ratio is used to evaluate a Companys financial leverage. It is a measure of the degree to which a Company is financing its operations through debt versus wholly owned funds. It is calculated by dividing a Companys total liabilities by its shareholders equity.

Operating Profit Margin (%)

Operating Profit Margin is profitability or performance ratio used to calculate the percentage of profit a Company produces from its operations. It is calculated by dividing the EBIT by turnover.

Net Profit Margin (%)

The net profit margin is equal to how much net income or profit is generated as a percentage of revenue. It is calculated by dividing the profit for the year by turnover.

(i) Human Resources Development and Industrial Relations:

Your Company focuses on developing the most superior workforce so that the organization and individual employees can accomplish their work goals in service to the end users. To improve employee productivity, PMS (Performance Management System) was implemented across the organization.

Your Company has put in place suitable processes and mechanism to ensure that grievances are effectively addressed. Employee Grievance Redressal Committee and the Internal Complaints Committee are intended to facilitate open and structured discussion on work related grievances of employees and Sexual Harassment complaints respectively, to ensure that these are dealt with in a fair and just manner. Our Anti-Sexual Harassment initiatives allow employees to report sexual harassment case at the workplace.

Presently, your Company employs around 450 employees including employees on contact basis. There is Lockout at factory at Khopoli since December, 2013. The industrial relation continues to remain generally cordial at all locations of the Company except its factory at Khopoli.

(j) Cautionary Statement:

The Management Discussion and Analysis describe Companys projections, expectations or predictions and are forward looking statements within the meaning of applicable laws and regulations. Actual results could differ from those expressed or implied. Important factors that could make a difference to the Companys operations include economic conditions affecting demand and supply, price conditions in domestic and international market, change in Government regulations, tax regimes, economic developments and other related and incidental factors.