Bajaj Auto rides pent-up demand, festive sales to record quarter

Bajaj Auto Ltd, one of India’s oldest two-wheeler makers, today reported its highest ever quarterly revenue, profit and volume numbers as consumers again loosened their purse strings with COVID-19 uncertainty receding into the background.

Like most other companies in India, Bajaj Auto had taken a severe beating in the first quarter (Apr-Jun) due to COVID-19, followed by a lackluster second quarter (Jul-Sep) as both the supply chain and sales and distribution remained disrupted.

However, thank to these two quarters of repressed demand waiting to break loose, the company saw a record setting sales and performance in the third quarter (Oct-Dec).

Revenue from operations jumped 17% on year to Rs 8,910 cr — highest ever for any quarter in the company’s history, while pre-tax profit rose 22% on year to Rs 2,033 cr, also a record.

“Q3 / FY21 has been a record quarter for the Company – HIGHEST ever Turnover which for the first time ever exceeded Rs 9,000 crore, HIGHEST ever Profit before tax which for the first time ever exceeded Rs 2,000 crore, HIGHEST ever Profit after tax to over Rs 1,500 crore and an expansion in
operating EBITDA margin to 19.8% driven by higher operating leverage and better product mix,” the company claimed.

The 17% jump in operating revenue came on the back of a 16% increase in the number of motorbikes and scooters sold during the final three months of 2020.

Exports, which account for around 45% of BAL’s two-wheeler sales, were particularly strong, and rose 26% on year in the two-wheeler segment.

The domestic market saw a more subdued performance, with total two-wheeler volumes rising only 8%.

Both Pulsar, the mid-range brand, and Boxer, the international entry-level brand, set sales records during the quarter, with Pulsar selling over 4.2 lakh units, and Boxer selling 3.8 lakh units in the international market alone.

The affordable Pulsar 125 witnessed strong traction with sales of over 164,000 units; growth of 32% over Q2, raising the market share for Pulsar 125 to 22.8% within the cut-throat 125cc segment.

Overall, the company’s share in the domestic motorcycle market was 18.6% in Q3 against 17.5% in Q2 and 18.5% in ‘FY20.

Bajaj Auto said the domestic two-wheelers continued to grow on the back of “robust demand for Pulsar, Dominar, KTM and Husqvarna.”