Thursday, 30 January 2020

Avenue Supermarts Ltd: Analysis of Financial Performance Dec 2019

Avenue Supermarts Ltd (D-Mart) continues to outperform quarter after quarter and year after year. In the most recent quarter ended on Dec 2019, it has registered revenues of Rs. 68,069.30 millions, growth rates of 24.38% and 13.66% when compared to revenues of Dec 2018 and Sep 2019 respectively. In the last three quarters, net profit margins have been hovering around the 5.5% mark, notwithstanding the growth in revenues, as shown in the figure below.

In the last five years, revenues have grown at an impressive CAGR of 25.45% and gross margins have been consistently maintained at 14 to 15%.

In the current financial year 2019-20, 20 stores have been added and the total number of stores is 196 as of Dec 2019 as reported in D-Mart investor presentation.

Notwithstanding, the rise in the number of stores, revenue per square feet has been increasing year after year as shown in the figure below. (D-Mart Investor Presentation Jan 2020)

Key Financial Ratios of Avenue Supermarts

Profitability Ratios

1.  Return on Assets = EBITDA*(1-t)/Total Assets
     Return on Invested Capital = EBITDA *(1-t)/(Book Value of Equity + Book Value of Debt - Cash and equivalents) Debt includes all interest bearing debt + current portion of long term debt.

With increase in revenues, reduction in taxes and improved margins, profitability is expected to improve in FY 2020. (FY 2020 figures are projected figures)

Return on Invested Capital can be further decomposed into post-tax operating margin and invested capital turnover ratio. As of FY 2019 every rupee that was invested, generated more than three rupees in revenues.

2. Return on Equity = Net Income/Book Value of Equity

As of FY 2019, Return on Equity was 16.15% and for FY 2020 it is projected to be 20 to 21%.
(Remember D-Mart started trading on 21-Mar-2017 which translated in to higher paid up capital and lower ROE in FY2017)

Liquidity Ratios: 

1. Current Ratio = Current Assets/Current liabilities
2. Quick Ratio or Acid test ratio = (Cash+Short term investments+Accounts Receivables)/Current liabilities
3. Cash Ratio = Cash + Marketable Securities
4. Defensive Interval = (Cash + Accounts Receivables + Marketable Securities)/Daily Expenditures
Daily Expenditures  = (Annual Operating Expenses - Non Cash Charges)/365
5. Working Capital = Excess of Current Assets over Current liabilities

The figure below summarizes the liquidity position as of Sep-2019. The current ratio seems to stabilize around 1.6/1.7x in the past one and half years and working capital stood at 10,088 million INR as of Sep-2019.

As of Sep 2019, D-Mart's Defensive Interval Ratio was at 15.84 which means it can meet daily operational expenses up to 16 days without tapping into long term resources and its cash operating expenses for the first half of 2020 stand at Rs.106911 millions.

Activity Ratios

1. Accounts Receivables Turnover = Revenues/Average Accounts Receivables
    Days Receivables Outstanding = 365/Accounts Receivables Turnover
2. Inventory Turnover Ratio = Cost of Revenues or COGS/Average Inventory
    Days Inventory Held = 365/Inventory Turnover Ratio
3. Accounts Payables Turnover = Purchases/Average Accounts Payable
    Days Payables Outstanding = 365/Accounts Payables Turnover
4. Working Capital Cycle = Days Receivables Outstanding + Days Inventory Held - Days Payables Outstanding

The inventory holding period has slightly increased by Sep 2019 when compared to Mar 2019 but one needs to view this in the context of growth in revenues. As of Sep 2019, D-Mart's working capital recycles in 24 days. D-Mart collects cash from its customers and boasts of  'deep knowledge and understanding of optimal product assortment and strong supplier network' as well as 'high operating efficiency and lean cost structures'. (Investor Presentation Jan 2020)

Solvency Ratios 

1. Interest Coverage Ratio = EBIT/Interest
2. Debt to Capital Ratio = Debt/Debt + Equity (Debt includes all interest bearing debt)
3. Debt to Equity Ratio = Debt/Equity
4. Long Term Debt to Capital = Long Term Debt/(Long Term Debt + Equity)
5. Long Term Debt to Equity = Long Term Debt/Equity

As of Sep 2019, D-Mart's interest coverage ratio was at a healthy 25.29x and debt ratios are shown in the figures below.

D-Mart has pared down its long term debt over the last five years and currently long term debt constitutes only 7.25% of the total capital. So there are no solvency or liquidity concerns for D-Mart for now or any time soon.

Data Source:

Investors' discretion is advised.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Perspectives on India's Retail Industry

In a recent address at the National Retail Federation in New York, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked that by capturing the commercial intent and buying behaviour of consumers, retail industry is going to set the tone for not just for consumer experience but also the global economy in the coming decade.

As of FY end 2018-19 India's private consumption expenditure stood at $1.6 trillions which is 60% of India's GDP. Retail industry accounts for $857 billions out of the total private consumption expenditure. (Reference: D-Mart Investor's Presentation/Crisil Report Jan 2020/CEIC Data) Effectively, retail industry accounts for 25 to 30 % of India's GDP. Not just India, for most major economies retail industry accounts for a significant share of GDP.

Driven by technology and modernisation, the retail sector in India is at the cusp of evolution. Disruptions throughout the value chain – sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, procurement, warehousing and inventory, distribution, marketing and advertising, selling, logistics, delivery,after sales servicing, etc. – are driving this evolution, not just in retail but throughout the broader consumer business practices. (Unravelling the Indian Consumer Feb 2019, Deloitte)

In this context, India's retail industry is a fertile ground for big ticket retail majors - both domestic and foreign, specially given the fact that organised retail accounts for only 9 to 10% of the total retail industry.Close to 90% of the Indian retail industry is dominated by traditional mom and pop (kirana) stores. (Industry Research Report by CARE Aug 2019) One needs to watch out for this sector not just for its sheer economic size but also its political prominence.

The organized retail industry which is just 9 to 10% of the total retail market is further categorized into segments as shown in the figure below.

 As shown in the figure below, the growth in organized retail (secondary axis) is expected to be much steeper (1.5x) than the traditional retail business. Many industry estimates expect organized retail to double in size from the $90 billions (FY 2019) in four to five years depending on the cyclicality of the economy. If the growth rate of overall retail is expected to be around 10 to 12%, organized retail is expected to grow at 20% in the next five to six years.

With increasing smart phone and internet penetration coupled with tech savvy urban consumers, the growth in e-retail is expected to be at least 30% per year for the next five to six years. Online retail is worth $20 billions in FY 2019 not even 3% of the total retail industry.


Some of the major players in organized retail in India and their revenues as of Mar 2019 are listed below. Reliance Retail is by far, the largest retailer in the country and D-Mart has shown consistent growth in the past few years.


As stated earlier, online retail is the fastest growing segment of the retail industry with growth rates expected in excess of 30% per annum at least for the next five years. Some of the major e-commerce websites are listed (based on traffic) in the graph below. (


1. Consolidation and buyouts: In multi-brand retail, FDI is restricted to 49%, therefore, many foreign retail giants would prefer to enter organized retail through buyouts to avoid any regulatory hurdles. Also the local knowledge and insights provided by domestic players are invaluable for foreign investors eyeing Indian markets. Even within the domestic industry, consolidation is going to be the key to optimize on costs and maximize revenue generation per square foot. We can see a number of examples including Walmart buying out Flipkart, Amazon taking a 49% stake in Aditya Birla More Retail Chain along with Samara Capital, Goenka Group's Spencer's Retail buying  Godrej's Nature Basket etc. 

2. Phygital: No rivalry between brick and mortar and e-commerce platforms.'Phygital' is the future.
"Physical stores have their own advantages and nuances and digital has its own advantages,” Kishore Biyani CEO of Future Group said in New Delhi at a recent conference organized by Amazon. “Both have come in different eras and in another 3-4 years, it will become phygital,” referring to a retailing term visualises merger the two formats. “It has happened in the (other parts of the) world and it will happen faster in India.” Now Big Bazaar's 'Sabse Saste Din' are also available on

3. Data Analytics and Technology: As stated earlier, technology and data analytics are going to play a critical role in the evolution of global economies in general and retail in particular. Producers will have to adopt to the needs of evolving consumer data trends. By analyzing consumer data and trends in buying behaviour, one can evaluate the changing tastes and preferences, raising income levels, dietary patterns and health consciousness of consumers etc. Advertising strategy built around consumer buying habits is far more effective in earning revenues. Data usage and privacy issues will have to be handled by sovereign governments in a way that benefits consumers and doesn't suppress business interests. Technology is already playing a key role in bringing in efficiencies and streamlining operations through out the retail value chain.

4. Brand Building through Enhanced Consumer Experience: Building brand loyalty by way of enhanced consumer experience, both online and offline is the key for retailers. Millennials ( the new age cyber citizens!) account for 34% of India's population and they value consumer experience more than anything else. With the integration of technology, retailers across the world are trying out new ideas including personalized display at stores, AR/VR based shopping options, consumer alerts through blue tooth beacon devices while in stores, conversational commerce through voice activated assistance, inventory and supply chain management devices, battery operated shopping carts etc. (Deloitte Report, Unraveling the Indian Consumer Feb 2019) Subscription based revenue models are being increasingly used to lock in consumers and thereby revenue streams for years to come.

5. Traditional mom and pop stores are going to be at the center of e-commerce action: Although, unorganized retail is set to decline by at least 10% in the next four to five years, traditional mom and pop stores are going to be at the center of the e-tail revolution. Big companies like Reliance Retail have announced plans to tie up with small retailers in the next five years. (Refer to The Economic Times article - indias-ubiquitous-kirana-stores-are-finding-themselves-in-great-demand) In Bengaluru's HSR layout, retail firms like Metro are helping traditional kirana stores to ramp up and streamline their operations and consumer data. In the next few years, by integrating with these traditional outlets, e-commerce companies will be able to reduce their delivery timelines and provide better user services. 

6. Largest Employers and impact on other industries in the value chain: Retail industry accounts for 10% of the total employment and trends in retail industry are going to shape up other industries through out the value chain and employment generation.

Notwithstanding, the current downturn in the economy, consumption expenditure is expected to bounce back in the coming quarters and the CAGR of retail industry as a whole would be around 10 to 12% in the next four to five years. Moreover, with a business friendly government at the centre, organized retail is set to attract higher investments both domestic and foreign.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Cost of Equity for Indian Companies by Sector Jan 2020 (based on Prof. Damodaran's data set)

This is a descriptive article based on the data set provided Prof. Damodaran on this website The objective is to provide a reference point for cost of equity for Indian companies specially for retail investors. It is already known that cost of equity (using CAPM model) becomes a critical input to evaluate risk from an equity investor stand point of view in corporate finance and valuation. Given below is the link to the spreadsheet containing the cost of equity for Indian companies by sector.

The rest of this article is devoted to describing some of the trends in cost of equity for Indian companies.

For the market as a whole there is not much of a difference in terms of cost of equity between 2019 and 2020. The overall cost of equity for the market as a whole as of Jan 2020 is 10.16%  as against 10.21% of 2019.

Advertising, electronics, oil/gas and dining industry are among the industries with highest cost of equity as shown in the image below.

Broadcasting, beverages and real estate services are among the industries with lowest cost of equity.

In terms of percent increase in the cost of equity advertising, software (internet) and retail (building supply) industries are at the top. The percentages indicated in the figure below represent the percent change when compared to 2019.

Beverages, trucking and retail are among the industries that have shown a decline in the cost of equity when compared to 2019.

Investors are advised to use their discretion in making their investment decisions.