HAL points to 6% FY sales growth, double-digit PAT growth despite COVID

HAL is India’s only aircraft maker

HAL or Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, a government-owned aircraft maker, reported a 6% growth in its revenue for the current year despite a one-month shut-down related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bangalore-based company reported provisional revenue of Rs 22,700 crores for the year ending today, up from Rs 21,438 crores for the year ended March 2020.

The public sector company said it was able to make up for the lost month “thanks to improved productivity” during the remaining 11 months.

The highlights of the year involved the production of 41 new helicopters and aircraft and 102 new engines and overhauling 198 aircraft and helicopters and 506 engines.

The company also said its saw a far better cash flow this year compared to the last.

“The cash flow position has improved significantly with improved budget allocation from defence customers and it stands in excess of Rs. 34,000 crores including advance payment of around Rs. 5,400 crores for 83 Light Combat Aircraft MK1A contract,” the company noted.

Thanks to the infusion of cash from its clients and customers, It said it was able to pay off its borrowings from banks.

“The company has ended the year with a positive cash balance of around Rs. 6,700 crores as against borrowings of Rs. 5,775 crores as on March 31, 2020,” it said.

During the year, the company secured the largest ever defence contract won by an Indian company by agreeing to supply 83 light combat aircrafts called MK-IA to the ministry of defence.

“This helped the company surpass the order book position in excess of Rs. 80,000 crores,” it said.

India’s only aircraft maker also said it has taken various cost cutting and austerity measures during the year, including indigenization of components, increasing outsourcing and rationalization of manpower.

Because of all this, it hopes to report a “double digit growth” in the Profit After Tax (PAT).

“Considering the anticipated growth in profits, HAL paid an interim dividend of Rs. 30 per share during the current financial year,” it added.

There has been much controversy over the last three years over the government’s move to purchase India’s 4.5-generation jet Rafale from its French manufacturer, instead of pursing a previously negotiated contract to have many of these jets manufactured locally by HAL under a technology transfer arrangement.