08282016Sun
Last update: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 05am

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After closing off FY16 with all-time high sales in the passenger car segment of the auto sector, July sees a drop in sales by 12 percent month on month in cars and a 7 percent decline in year-on-year growth of cars and jeeps. Overall, the auto sector according to data reported by PAMA saw a 10 percent decline year on year in 1MFY17, selling 16,073 units compared to 17,869 units in 1MFY16. Between June and July, sales have fallen by 25 percent making a somber start to this fiscal. (Read our year end coverage "Autos on a roll" published July 18, 2016).
Earlier this week, the Rawalpindi Chamber of commerce took another initiative to establish its leadership mark as a chamber bent upon changing the status quo - this time by organizing a conference titled Pakistan-Afghanistan-Central Asia Trade Summit (PACTS) with funding obtained from USAID.
For the first quarter of the calendar year 2016, the misery from the previous two quarters continued; Al-Ghazis sales dropped by 18 percent year-on-year while the bottom line fell by 24 percent. However, lean management and rigorous cost discipline, as per the companys Directors Report, kept the cost of sales low and gross margins ended up expanding by 100 bps.
MCB continued where it left 1QCY16 - another interim dividend of Rs4/share was announced yesterday, taking the year-to-date dividend to Rs8/share. Mind you, the consolidated after-tax profits still went down by 18 percent year-on-year - expectedly though.
The robustness of petroleum product sales has continued its fervour in FY17; with OCACs latest volumes for oil marketing companies, sales of key petroleum products have increased by around 22 percent year-on-year in the first month of F17, driven primarily by growth in motor spirit (petrol) and furnace oil. July 2016 data shows that while the growth of furnace oil increased by 28 percent year-on-year, and motor spirit volumes jumped by 31 percent year-on-year; high speed diesel (HSD) volumes were dreary with just over five percent year-on-year growth, and a decline of 19 percent in month-on-month comparison.
Allied Bank Limited (ABL) is in mighty good shape. Even in times of low spreads, low interest rates, declining yields, super tax and all that - it continues to churn year-on-year profit growth, quarter after quarter. The bank posted its 1HCY16 financial results yesterday, declaring interim cash divined of Rs1.75/share - to go along with a 17 percent year-on-year hike in after-tax profits.
Unfortunate as it is, the lingering hostility between Pakistan and India is often viewed as normal in South Asia. What's more unfortunate is limited room to manoeuvre to start the process of normalization of relations between the estranged neighbours. Yet, even with such low bar, the mutual sparring in the last week or so has come as a surprise.