Listed companies (a sample of 2,789 firms) in the June-September quarter posted a profit margin, shown in Table 1, that was not much different from earlier quarters – hovering around 15 per cent.
But, as Table 2 shows, the rate of year-on-year profit growth took a dive in the quarter.
The steady average margins do not imply a broad-based recovery, as year-on-year revenue growth has collapsed, shows Table 3.
Meanwhile, some facets of companies’ accounts are of interest. For one, it is clear that interest costs are no longer rising precipitously, shown in Table 4, meaning high rates do not endanger bottom lines as much as they did earlier.
Further, depreciation allowances claimed, shown in Table 5, have hardly grown. Does that mean firms are working with equipment past their replacement dates, postponing new investment?
Some sectoral stories are shown in Tables 6 and 7. Many sectors have not seen sales growth matching those in the same quarter last year. Interestingly, cement, a leading sector, is one of the exceptions. Profit growth in many sectors, however, is better in this quarter than in the year-ago period.