Mr. Kamlesh Bagmar- Deputy Head of Research at Prabhudas Lilladher
EBITDA of our Cement coverage universe is expected to fall by 25% YoY, entirely due to contraction in margins. Volumes would increase by 1.2% YoY amid high base of 24% YoY growth. Realisations are expected to increase by 4.4% YoY/Rs210/t (down 0.3%/Rs15/t QoQ). Impacted by steep increase in coal, packaging and freight cost, overall cost is expected to increase by 16% YoY/Rs600 per ton. This would result in sharp contraction in EBITDA/t of our cement coverage universe by 26% YoY/Rs325 at Rs915.
We believe that outlook on sector's earnings growth with an estimated CAGR of 8% (largely driven by volume growth) in FY22-FY24e looks unattractive given the current valuations. We cut EBITDA estimates of our coverage stocks by 4.8%/11.8% for FY22e/FY23e due to higher costs and lower margins. We downgrade rating on Ambuja cement (ACEM) to Accumulate with revised TP of Rs360 (earlier Rs390) on account of limited upside and steeper earnings cut. While, we continue to prefer Ultratech (UTCEM) (with revised TP of Rs7,180) due to its dominant size of operations (enjoys leadership position with 22% market share), continuous capacity growth and efficient operations.
Price hikes restricted to East region: All India cement prices remained unchanged QoQ (+6.6% YoY/Rs22) due to price hike in East, offset by drop in prices in rest of the regions. East witnessed steep increase of Rs25 per bag QoQ while rest of the regions did not see any meaningful price increase. Prices reduced by Rs5/Rs4/Rs3 per bag QoQ in South/North/West. Prices in Central region remained flat QoQ.