Weak consumer sentiments along with slowdown in the infrastructure sector and soft commodity prices weighed heavily on the corporate sector's revenue growth in Q2FY20, ratings agency ICRA said in Mumbai on Monday.
The ratings agency's analysis of 609 companies, excluding the financial sector entities, showed a YoY and sequential contraction in revenues for the "first time in almost four years" with an aggregate revenues contracting by 0.9% YoY.
ICRA said during the period under review Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margin contracted 32bps YoY and by 100bps sequentially to 16.7%.
"The major impact on revenues came from commodity-linked sectors, revenues from which contracted 5% YoY as well as sequentially," the agency said.
"Consumer sentiment too remained muted, as reflected in YoY contraction of 1% in revenues from consumer-oriented sectors. Additionally, demand from the infrastructure segment was down, due to extended monsoon, slow release of government funds, cancellation of orders and marginal decline in housing demand," it said.
The analysis revealed that profitability was impacted by negative operating leverage, high discounting and tepid realisation in commodity sectors.
"In terms of sector specific trends, consumer-linked sectors, like automobiles and FMCG, continued to report YoY and sequential weakening. Within the automobile sector, the passenger vehicle segment, which had started weakening from Q2FY19 as ownership costs increased and the macroeconomic environment weakened, continued sluggish," it said.
"Although FMCG companies reported volume growth, there was further sequential slowdown in both rural and urban markets."
As per the statement, cement production volume growth also slowed significantly to 1%, given the continued slowdown in infrastructure, housing and industrial or commercial sectors.
The IT sector reported 9% revenue growth in Q2FY20 (in rupee terms), supported by inorganic growth, rupee depreciation YoY and traction in digital offerings across verticals, while the gems and jewellery segment grew 22% on the back of increase in gold prices.
Additionally, sectors like airlines, pharmaceutical and telecom helped arrest the extent of revenue contraction.