Godrej Properties, part of the Godrej group and one of the most promising Indian real estate companies, posted its worst ever quarterly performance after the September 2010 quarter when compared year on year. The company has registered a subdued growth of 8% in its consolidated net sales and 17.4% drop in operating profit. The company’s performance was impacted by subdued sales volumes, weak operating margins and a slowdown in execution. Over 60% of its total income during the quarter was accounted for from projects connected to group companies. The remaining projects earned a negligible margin. Certain commercial projects were sold below the break-even cost leading to drop in margins.
Cost escalation and higher share of minority interest also impacted the company’s margins. Growth in sales volumes have not been very encouraging in its Garden City project in Ahmedabad which contributed 16% to the total income compared to 49% in the preceding December quarter. Net debt after excluding the money rose from IPP stood at 1554 crore leading to debt equity of 0.85. This is higher than the ratio of 0.55 at the end of the previous fiscal.
The company’s management though is optimistic about improving margins, ramping up execution and launching 17 new residential projects in FY13. Maintaining the health of its balance sheet is going to be a major priority. However for now, the stock is likely to see some more correction as the Street would knock off the premium built into the realty stock price on account of the company’s asset light model, good track record and reputation of its promoters.