Neeraj Kanwar, the company’s vice-chairman and managing director, said: “We are towards the end of our current capex cycle. Going forward, the focus would be on sweating the assets and de-leveraging the balance sheet. We expect the capex intensity to come down in the next few years, which, coupled with recovery in demand, should help us generate positive free cash flows and further de-leverage our balance sheet.”
Kanwar said the company was cognizant of the fact that capex in the past few years had been high and that coupled with current demand softness impacted the return ratios. “We are focused on getting the return ratios back to a healthy level and expect this to happen over the next few years,” he said.
Demand recovery, he said, continued to be positive. Both replacement and the original equipment markets have seen growth. Reduction in raw material cost and fixed costs (by around 15 per cent) and overall manufacturing costs have further helped the company.
“We reported our best volumes in the truck-bus replacement and passenger car radial segment in September. In October, we are seeing a very strong demand momentum and expect the top line growth to continue in near-to-medium term,” said Kanwar.
Gaurav Kumar, chief financial officer of Apollo Tyres, said the sales for the quarter grew 5 per cent at Rs 2,900 crore over the same period last year and 66 per cent on a sequential basis.
“The top line for the quarter was driven by volume growth in the replacement segment, but we also saw recovery in OEM demand towards the end of the quarter. In September, the sales for this year were higher year-on-year (YoY). Almost all product categories posted double-digit growth on YoY in the replacement segment and even in OEM, as I mentioned, we saw growth in September 2020,” Kumar said.
Kanwar claimed Apollo gained about 500 basis points in market share in passenger car radials and aAgri segment and more than 350 basis points in TBR according to the company's internal estimates.
On network expansion, Kanwar said Apollo added more than 350 dealers during the first half and rural touchpoints increased to around 4,000 touchpoints. Most are multi-product dealers in the rural markets, where the demand is for the entire product category.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.