Punjab Chemicals & Crop Protection Limited (PCCPL) A Clear Runway Ahead!

Punjab came out with decent set of numbers, Q4 sales grew by 23% and PAT by 90% (YOY). FY22 was a good year with sales growing by 37.6% and PAT by 69%.

In terms of production volumes, both Derabassi and Lalru had low production in Q4 (maybe a function of product mix or raw material shortage).

FY22Q1 FY22Q2 FY22Q3 FY22Q4
Derabassi production (MT) 7’022.00 6’236.00 6’521.00 4’018.00
Lalru production (MT) 342.00 412.00 491.00 100.00

Management is confident of reaching 1500 cr. sales in next 2-years, lets see execution. Concall notes are below.

  • Net working capital days should stabilize at 50-55 days
  • FY23 growth drivers: Got registration for 2 more products which will be launched in FY23. Certain launched products got registered in additional geographies, so there will be growth in existing products as well
  • FY24: 2 more products will be added in FY24 (expect to have registrations by Q3YF23). Will start advance intermediate supplies to pharma cos Laurus/Divis/Mylan
  • The 3-4 new molecules are generic products where Punjab is an additional supplier (site transfer from existing suppliers)
  • Agrochemicals: 65% (~600 cr.), performance chemicals (intermediates + fine chemicals): 35% (270-280 cr.)
  • Top 2 product contribution (metconazole + metamitron) has reduced to 20%
  • Advance Intermediates: Delayed by 3-4 months as they had certain supply chain dependence on China which is being resolved. Will have sales coming in from early FY24
  • EBITDA margins should increase by 2-3% (from current 15-16% levels) in next 2-years
  • CRAMS model works on EBITDA/kg, so margins can look lower if raw material prices increase a lot. Looking at absolute EBITDA is more important. Look for 22-25% IRR on new contracts
  • Current business mix is ~60% CRAMS (550-600 cr. in FY22). This can grow to 1500-2000 cr. in next 3-years
  • Volume growth was ~18% in FY22
  • Capex: In ongoing 150cr., ~30cr. was finished with remainder being ~120cr. Currently discussing more capex which will be announced in Q1/Q2. When doing capex, look for 2.5-4x fixed asset turns
  • Cost problems can persist in Q1/Q2 of FY23 because of higher energy prices
  • Metconazole sales should double in FY23 over FY22 as customers got their re-registration in EU
  • Most of sales comes from technical to formulators (B2B relationships). Also make some bulk formulations to formulators (again B2B). Don’t do their own B2C marketing
  • Capacity is not a big constraint in fulfilling current growth trajectory
  • Target regions for next leg of growth: Latin America, South Asia, European Union
  • Registration for certain agrochemicals is taking a bit of time.
  • Patented products are also mentioned as Technology transfer products

Disclosure: Invested (position size here, bought shares in last-30 days)

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How did you calculate this? It was not mentioned in the presentation. Is it from the concall?

They report cumulative production every quarter, you can figure out quarterly production from that.

E.g. Lalru
FY22Q4

FY22Q3

and so on for FY22Q2 and FY22Q1

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Just a small update from the above statement. Company is installing MVRE (mechanical vapor recompression evaporator) for treatment of water. So, in terms of water treatment which is extremely important, they are improving.
Though, I still find out to be a very basic CMO operation.

Disc : Not Invested.

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They do have some patented molecules too. I Read in concall transcript.

AR FY2022




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AR22 notes

Quick summary:

  • UPL dependence seem to have increased to 54% of sales vs 43% in FY21
  • The contingent liabilities problem that showed up last year has come down significantly and company has also appealed against it.
  • The high fixed rate loans taken earlier are running down. With lower leverage, they should get a rating upgrade and lower their borrowing cost. It makes no sense for this kind of a business to borrow at 10%+

Miscellaneous

  • Revenue grew by 38% on back of growth in existing products + commercialization of 2 new contracts for international clients, each of which can potentially generate 100 cr. revenues in FY23
  • Industrial chemical division doubled in revenues
  • 2/3rd revenues come from agrochemicals and 1/3rd from performance chemicals (including intermediates and industrial chemicals)
  • Portfolio of 10+ products in contract manufacturing for MNCs and Indian companies. Expect growth in existing molecules as customers get registrations in additional geographies
  • Developing intermediates which should be commercialized over next 2-years
  • Target: reach 1’500 cr. in next-2 years with 2-3% increase in margins
  • Expect 7-8 products with long-term contracts and registrations that will include 5-6 agrochemical products, and rest from specialty intermediates over next 2-3 years
  • Intermediates will be supplied to leading Indian and MNCs - two molecules are expected to commercialize in FY23. We have a contract with a Japanese client that start contributing from FY 2023
  • Has approved Effluent Treatment Plants with incinerators to treat the waste materials in Derabassi and Lalru. For disposal of solid waste, it has a tie-up with Common Effluent Treatment Plants close to manufacturing sites
  • Plans to manufacture agrochemicals in Lalru which is currently used for chemicals, separate agrochemical site has been initiated
  • CSR: Spent 75.94 lakhs (vs 49.9 lakh in FY21). It was slightly above requirement of 75.67 lakhs to fill last year’s gap
  • Order book: 1’500 cr.
  • Capacity utilization: Derabassi (85%), Lalru (70%), Pune (95%)
  • Identified local producers for some basic raw materials
  • Number of employees: 1213 (vs 1176 in FY21) + 867 (vs 597 in FY21) on contractual basis
  • Share price (low): 839.75, (high): 1933.7
  • Number of shareholders: 19’419 (vs 14’451 in FY21)
  • Average percentile increase in employee salaries (ex-managerial) was 10.34% and managerial remuneration increased by 43.65%
  • Management remuneration: 6.04 cr. (vs 4.13 cr. in FY21) (2.26 cr. was commission vs 1.05 cr. in FY21)
  • R&D: 3.3 cr. (vs 1.97 cr. in FY21). Out of this, 1.45 cr. was capitalized (vs 0.24 cr.in FY21)
  • Implemented SAP B1 Hana Ver 10 and G-suite cloud backup
  • Customer advances: 18.6 cr. (vs 33.48 cr. in FY21)
  • Revenue from top 2 customers was 503.71 cr. (vs 288.32 cr. in FY21) and 75.83 cr. (vs 58.43 cr. in FY21)
  • Contingent liabilities: 13.41 cr. (vs 76.84 cr. in FY21). Out of this, 13.25 cr. (vs 76.68 cr. in FY21) was in relation to income tax matters
  • Auditor remuneration: 34 lakh (vs 25 lakh in FY21)

Revenue breakup:

  • Agrochemical division Derabassi: 664 cr. (vs 513 cr. in FY21)
  • Specialty chemical division Lalru: 156 cr. (vs 111 cr. in FY21)
  • Industrial chemical division Pune: 111 cr. (vs 52 cr. in FY21)

Geographical revenue breakup:

  • India: 426.96 cr. (vs 242.26 cr. in FY21). In domestic revenues, sale of services was 126.11 cr. (vs 45.87 cr. in FY21). What could this be related to?
  • EU (including UK): 360.71 cr. (vs 219.1 cr. in FY21)
  • Japan: 89.8 cr. (vs 73.48 cr. in FY21)
  • Others: 39.59 cr. (vs 130 cr. in FY21)

Banking relationships

  • RBL bank + SVC Cooperative bank + Bank of Baroda (new one)
  • Term loan from RBL bank is at 11.25% interest rate (4.96 cr. vs 9.91 cr. in FY21)
  • Term loan from SVC Cooperative bank is at 9.7% interest rate (44.58 cr. vs 49.66 cr. in FY21)
  • Vehicle loan is from Indostar Capital Finance at 11.03% (7 lakhs vs 49 lakhs in FY21)
  • ICDs were 15.85 cr. (same in FY21) at 12.75-16.50% interest rate

Total income of SD Agchem (Europe) NV was 12.58 cr. (vs 11.36 cr. in FY21) with profit after tax of 2.89 cr. (vs (-1.55 cr.) in FY21)

Disclosure: Invested (position size here, no transactions in last-30 days)

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The dossier got extended, now expiry has been extended to 31/08/2023 in EU and 31/08/2025 in UK

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Punjab came up with decent sales growth of 29%, margins were under pressure resulting in 17% decline in net profits. Management is very bullish on growth in FY23, some part of the margin deterioration was strategic in nature (to gain market share in certain molecules). My concall notes are below:

FY23Q1

  • Faced margin pressure due to higher power costs. Gross margin pressure was due to lag in price hike, some part of which is strategic in nature. Gross margin pressure can continue in Q2 and should come back to normal levels in Q3FY23, company is targeting sales growth in-line or slightly higher than last year (i.e. 37%+)
  • Agri residue prices increase led to higher power costs, along with higher fuel costs. Looking for alternate energy sources
  • Some of the price hike delay is to gain market share in certain newer molecules. It’s a herbicide with a market size of 2500 MT, Punjab’s market share is less than 20% and they intend to reach 40%
  • Lalru lower production: One specific product had much lower production as that agri-molecule failed last year and there is lot of inventory in market. Will start production of that product in Q3
  • Working on 2 new products with much higher realizations ($80/kg to $140/kg) with market size up to 500 MT
  • In agro, products are on 5-year long contracts
  • UPL contribution will go down to 30% in next-3 years and 25-30% in 5-year time frame. In FY22 UPL contribution was 36-37% (why is there a mismatch with annual report numbers?)
  • Added 3 Japanese customers in previous year
  • Metconazole: Should double production this year due to re-registration in Europe. Discussing another molecule with Kureha
  • Should have higher production in Q2 and Q3. Should have 15%+ volume growth in FY23
  • There are 11 disclosed products on the investor presentation + 4 undisclosed due to confidentiality. Out of these 15 products, 6 were added since 2020 and have contributed around 400-450 cr. of sales. 2 of these are still not running at optimal utilization

Disclosure: Invested (position size here, no transactions in last-30 days)

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A nice thread under collaborator corner by @harsh.beria93

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@harsh.beria93 do you have any updates on Management commentary ? To produce on their own or buying from a local player ?

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Management has mentioned in the past that they will look to buy from GACL, it will probably not be margin accretive, but will ensure more reliable supply chain.

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aren’t hydrogen hydrate and hydrazine hydrate different products? I am not from science background, so I am clueless.

shiv kumar

Any reasons for recent correction, does market know something which retail investors are missing?

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SHALIL-SHASHIKUMAR-SHROFF-MD-@-Punjab-Chemicals.pdf (1.7 MB)

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I believe it’s due to technical reason. most chemical companies are correcting after giving spectacular return in last bull market. Leaders of last bull market hardly give any return in short term like 1-1.5 years. Here is a weekly chart indicating it.

If eps growth is strong then this downward trend must be broken.

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There is nothing called hydrogen hydride. It is hydrazine hydrate. It was a typo while creating transcript of the concall.

Punjab came up with very good sales growth of 33%, but margins were stressed due to RM inflation and higher power costs. Management remains confident of strong growth and are guiding for 1100-1150 cr. of sales in FY23, and 1500 cr. in FY24. My concall notes are below.

FY23Q2

  • Headwinds in business environment, have adopted flexible approach in product pricing (to increase market share) and are focusing on new geographies such as South America
  • Margins: pricing pressure, product mix, carry over of high cost inventory from earlier periods (mainly hydrazine hydrate). Energy, fuel (rice husk; gone up) and freight costs impact other expense. Will be able to pass on cost pressures by Q4 and revert to 14-15% EBITDA margin
  • Hydrazine hydrate prices have started tapering off
  • Power costs (60 cr. in FY22 vs 32/33 cr. for IPL/Bharat Rasayan): Products (herbicides) are more power intensive + due to farm law changes in last couple of years, availability of rice husk has become a challenge
  • Investing in renewing assets that are 30-40 years old (should have replacement capex of 30-40 cr. over 2-years)
  • Lalru: facing raw material problems resulting in lower production and delay in registration. Hope to come back to 70%+ utilization in Q3/Q4. Large part of CRAMS business comes from Lalru, and majority of expansion will also happen here
  • Derabassi: mature products, debottlenecking
  • Order book: has increased from 1500 cr. to 2500 cr.
  • Looking for a new site in Maharashtra or Gujarat and should finalize by end of FY23
  • Lot of customer visits happening from multiple geographies (Japan, Israel, etc.)
  • Phosphorus derivative: Faced pressure in this division due to pressure from Chinese suppliers. Have seen large margin drop, should see it come back to 16-18% next year
  • Have seen some slowdown in demand from domestic market
  • Agri segment has seen significant growth in South America
  • 15%+ volume growth. Maintain 1500cr. revenue by FY24
  • Thiocyclam: Full potential of this product has been delayed due to registration an should be realized in FY24
  • Singapore customer molecule (most likely prosulfocarb): Registration has been delayed and growth should come in FY24
  • Capex: 120-150 cr. over next 2 years
  • CRAMS: 65%; 40% from generic molecules + 25% from tech transfer of 2 molecules from Japanese customers + 1 more. Are either first or secondary supplier in CRAMS business. Have quarterly review on forex adjustements
  • FY23 sales will be 1100-1150 cr.
  • 60-65% CRAMS + 15% specialty chemicals + 15-20% intermediate & fine chemicals. On spot basis, sales are very low (maybe 5%)
  • 2 new products coming in agro + 1 in specialty chemical in FY24
  • Making intermediates for Israeli company specializing in fermentation space (most likely NextFerm Technologies). It’s a small high margin business

Disclosure: Invested (position size here, bought shares in last-30 days)

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This product is sold by UPL in Srilankan Market (Looks in-license agreement from Nippon Kayaku )

Possible reasons for high power costs are due to very old equipment (30-40 years old and they are spending about 30-40 cr to upgrade)

Reasons for low Margins

  • Increase in RM costs (Hydrazine hydrate)
  • High Power Costs
  • To maintain the customer relationship unable to pass on the RM costs

Growth Guidance

  • FY23 Target of 1100 Crores (550 Crores of that is achieved in H1 FY23 , they should do another 550 in another two quarters of FY23)
  • FY 24 Target is 1500 crore
  • Aiming to achieve 14-15% EBIDTA
  • By end of FY23 few of the products will be approved in Brazil market
  • Lalru’s utilization (where most of the CRAMS stuff happens) is low at the moment, aiming to reach to 75% utilization
  • Beyond FY24 guidance will be announced soon (by Q3 or Q4 of FY23)
  • Focussing more on inhouse R&D to capture market share of molecules that are going to off patent in couple of years from now
  • Margins will be better in Q3 onwards (This is product that they are making exclusively Nippon Kayaku and one more product for a Singapore Customer - Syngenta? )
  • Enough land at Lalru (6 acres ) to address the growth beyond FY25
  • Also looking for a site in Gujrat / Maharashtra
  • Growth Capex is between 120-150 Cr (At Derabassi it is mostly debottlenecking )

Management View on Generic molecules

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Punjab came with muted nos, with sales being flat YOY. Margins have started reviving but next quarter will also be soft. Management is guiding for resumption of growth starting Q1FY24 and a 30-35% jump in revenues in FY24. Concall notes below

FY23Q3

  • Shifted guidance of 1500 cr. revenues to FY25 from FY24. Will probably see 30-35% growth in FY24 and there will be a shortfall in reaching 1500 cr. in FY24. Will get projections from customers in February
  • Gross margins impacted due to high cost inventory, pricing pressure from certain markets and higher energy prices. This will persist in Q4 which will be a flat quarter. Gross margins will revive in Q1FY24, if energy prices are still high then EBITDA margins can be under pressure
  • All existing contracts renewed, none of their products are in red category
  • Industry is into stock liquidation mode to reduce high cost inventory
  • CRAMS contracts over last 2-years have ramped up well, have started reaching volume projection for the Japanese customers. 1 molecule projection has been surpassed, one is in-line, and one is lagging due to registrations
  • Lalru: Expecting 1 product registration in early FY24 from Europe. Capacity utilization will increase significantly after that as there is a dedicated capacity
  • Building new chemistry capabilities in line with newer demand from CRAMS customers
  • Have commercialized 1 new product this year, 1 more product was supplied in small batches for registration purposes. Will start contributing in Q3/Q4FY24 and major contribution will flow in FY25
  • In most CRAMS relationships, have exclusive relationship. In few molecules, there is a second supplier
  • Have been able to develop local vendors for 3-4 intermediates in last few years
  • Export margins are higher than domestic
  • Volume has grown 8-10% in 9M FY23
  • Capex: Will spend 100-150 cr. in next 2-years

Disclosure: Invested (position size here, no transactions in last-30 days)

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