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September 27, 2023

Year-End Sectoral Views

Domestic passenger traffic has increased


Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist, ICRA

Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist, ICRA Limited

While the emergence of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus has reignited uncertainty, we are cautiously optimistic that the economic recovery in India will become more durable and broad-based in the coming year. Rising confidence should support a return of consumption to normalcy, boosting capacity utilisation and setting the stage for broad-based capacity expansion by the end of 2022. Moreover, the solid expansion in direct taxes will allow the government to prioritize growth-enhancing capital spending.

With a higher inflation target than other Central Banks, the MPC can justify prioritising growth for some more time. Nevertheless, the base case of gradually strengthening economic activity, with uncomfortably high domestic inflation, suggests that it is only a matter of time before the MPC starts to raise rates to prevent inflationary expectations from becoming unanchored. We continue to expect 50 bps of repo hikes in 2022. However, the commencement of policy normalisation with a change in the monetary policy stance to neutral may end up being deferred to April 2022 from February 2022.

Banking & Finance

Anil Gupta, V. P & Sector Head, ICRA

Banking Sector

Anil Gupta, Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

The banking sector navigated well during CY2022, despite the challenges posed by the second wave of Covid-19 during Q2 CY2022. Even in the absence of relief measures such as moratorium on loan repayments or standstill on NPA classification, which were allowed during the first wave, banks were able to reduce their NPAs.

The Gross NPAs and Net NPAs for the banks declined to 7.2% and 2.3% as on September 30, 2021 compared to 8.3% and 2.7% as on December 31, 2020 on a pro forma basis. While the headline numbers improved, the standard restructured book at 2.5% of the advances and the elevated level of overdue loans remain monitorable.

Subdued credit growth and surplus liquidity continues to be a drag on the profit margins for the sector, however, improved recoveries for the past NPAs and declining credit provisions translated into better profitability which is likely to further improve in the coming year.

Small Finance Banks (SFBs)

Sachin Sachdeva, Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the performance of SFBs in FY2021 and H1 FY2022 with respect to growth, asset quality and profitability. The asset quality was impacted adversely as the product segment for SFBs is largely unsecured with a focus on the self-employed segment, which is more vulnerable to income shocks. Microfinance, which forms the largest product segment for SFBs in terms of assets under management (AUM), continues to face challenges following the spread of the pandemic throughout the country.

Though the sector witnessed some bounce back in growth in H2 FY2021, the asset quality weakened significantly. The budding recovery was again hindered by the second wave of the pandemic in Q1 FY2022, though the same was followed by recovery in Q2 FY2022. However, the asset quality continues to face pressure and the overdues increased further in H1 FY2022. ICRA expects the sector to witness improvement in AUM growth rate in FY2022 than FY2021, but the asset quality metrices are expected to remain weak, which would keep credit costs elevated and hence profitability subdued in FY2022. On the liquidity front, the SFBs are well placed given their access to deposits and their better refinancing ability, given their access to the call money market. Further, the capital buffers remain healthy for most of the SFBs, though some entities are yet to complete their initial public offers (IPOs) to comply with regulations.

Non-Bank Financial Companies (NBFCs)

A M Karthik, Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

The NBFC (including HFCs; excludes infra focussed and govt-owned entities) sector experienced a roller-coaster trend over the last 12-18 months. The rebound in H2 FY2021 on the back of the pent-up demand, post relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown, supported growth and earnings performance. The asset quality, notwithstanding the augmented provisions, remained a monitorable as the overall operating environment for all key asset segments – vehicle, mortgage, small business, unsecured credit (including microfinance) etc was still subdued. This fragile recovery was hindered by the second wave of the pandemic in Q1 FY2022. The impact was relatively limited vis a vis the past fiscal, with the sector bouncing back in Q2 FY2022 in terms of disbursements and AUM growth. The asset quality, however, was impacted with a sharp increase in the overdues and restructured book during Q1 FY2022, which only corrected partly in Q2 FY2022.

Against this backdrop, the regulator had brought in various measures to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory framework of the sector namely scale-based regulations, tighter NPA recognition/ upgradation norms and prompt corrective action framework (PCA). The policy around the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) and, the leverage policy for large NBFCs, which is expected to be announced in the near term, may result in some entities, depending on their exposure risk profile, enhancing their capital buffers. ICRA, in view of the second wave impact and the above regulatory changes, notes that the NBFC AUM growth in the current fiscal would be lower (~4-6%) than the previously anticipated level of 7-9%, without considering the impact of the new variant. The reported asset quality numbers would be impacted in the near term in view of the tightened regulations, which could lead to earnings-related headwinds for some players. The capital profile of the entities is expected to remain adequate in view of the limited growth witnessed in the past and a subdued outlook over the near term.

Structured Finance

Abhishek Dafria, V .P & Group Head – Structured Finance, ICRA

Abhishek Dafria, Vice President & Group Head – Structured Finance, ICRA Limited

The securitisation volumes originated by NBFCs and HFCs witnessed pickup during FY2021-22 despite the second wave of Covid surge on account of a lower base coupled with reducing Covid infections and improving economic activities across the country. Nonetheless, the threat of the newly discovered Omicron variant of Covid-19 may once again make investors cautious when purchasing retail pools as concerns on statewide or nationwide lockdowns resurface. We believe the securitisation market would continue to favour secured asset classes over the near term until the threat of Covid infections reduces substantially. The credit ratings for the existing transactions rated by ICRA are nonetheless expected to remain stable as the credit enhancements would be more than adequate to meet any shortfalls to the investors during temporary periods of stress as has been evident for the past 18-20 months.


Construction Sector

Abhishek Gupta, Assistant Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

The construction companies are likely to see healthy growth of 12-15% in FY2022 despite slower execution in Q1-FY2022 due to the second wave of Covid-19, as the impact was short-tenured and less severe than the first wave with construction activities permitted in most states. The order book-to-operating income ratio of most of the construction players is above three times, which provides revenue visibility and the pipeline of projects to be awarded also remains healthy. However, delays in land acquisition, and funding challenges faced by a few state governments remain key risks to the order inflows. Operating profitability is expected to moderate by 100-200 bps, with increase in key raw material cost and increased competitive intensity, though the benefits of improved execution scale will negate the impact to an extent. As the relaxations under the Atmanirbhar scheme are likely to be gradually removed in 2022, there could be an increase in working capital intensity and BG requirement. However, most large construction companies will have adequate liquidity cushion to absorb this. Nevertheless, small and mid-size companies could witness some pressure with increased BG requirements. Overall, the credit profile of construction companies is expected to remain stable in 2022.

Roads Sector

Vinay Kumar G, Assistant Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

With the sudden and severe onset of the second wave of the pandemic, the toll collections were impacted during Q2 CY2021 because of regional restrictions imposed in several states, along with the increase in wariness, which has adversely affected the overall traffic movement. With the fall in the number of Covid cases from the third week of May 2021, the states started relaxing the lockdown restrictions in a gradual manner. Unlike Covid 1.0, where traffic resumption was gradual, the toll collection witnessed a V-shaped recovery, post the Covid 2.0 relaxation. The toll collections started improving from June 2021 and reached pre-Covid levels in July 2021 as can be observed from e-way bills and fast tag collections in Q3 CY2021. Overall, the toll collections are expected to witness 12-14% growth in FY2022 on the back of low base and inflation-linked increase in toll rates. The revenue growth is expected to sustain a double-digit growth in FY2023 on the back of significant increase in inflation-linked toll rates.

Power Sector

Girishkumar Kadam, Senior V. P & Co-Group Head, ICRA

Girishkumar Kadam, Senior Vice President & Co-Group Head, ICRA Limited

The all-India electricity demand growth remained healthy in FY2022 with estimated YoY growth of 8.0 – 8.5% supported by a favourable base effect and faster-than-expected recovery in demand post Covid second wave with improved economic activity. Further, the demand growth for FY2023 is estimated at 6.0 – 6.5%. Nonetheless, emergence of the potential third Covid wave & consequent lockdown restrictions remain a downside risk. Despite the uptick in demand growth, the outlook for the thermal generation remains negative owing to the modest thermal PLF, lack of visibility in signing of new PPAs and rising cost of generation. Also, the outlook for the distribution segments remains negative given the weak financial position of state-owned distribution utilities as well as slow progress in implementation of reform measures in the distribution segment.

Renewable Energy Sector

Vikram V, Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

The capacity addition in the renewable energy (RE) sector was 8.2 GW in the first eight months of FY2022, against 7.4 GW achieved in full FY2021, driven by the large project pipeline, easing of execution challenges and the duty-free window available for importing solar PV modules till March 2022. However, the solar power developers remain affected due to headwinds arising from the considerable increase in solar PV module prices and supply chain challenges emanating from China. Nonetheless, the bid tariffs are expected to remain competitive at less than Rs. 3.0 per unit. The outlook for the RE sector remains stable, driven by strong policy support, large untapped potential, the presence of creditworthy central nodal agencies and high tariff competitiveness. The announcement by the Hon’ble Prime Minister during the COP26 summit to increase the non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030 and meet 50% of India’s energy requirement from renewable energy by 2030, also underscores the strong investment prospects in the renewable energy sector.

Aviation Sector

Suprio Banerjee, V .P & Sector Head, ICRA

Suprio Banerjee, Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

The domestic aviation industry, which reeled through heightened challenges since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic in CY2020, continued its turbulent journey in CY2021, with the resurgence of the second wave in the early part of 2021. The year started with sequential growth in domestic passenger traffic in January 2021, with the trend reversing in March 2021, due to the second wave. With declining fresh infections sequential growth was again witnessed in June 2021, which has continued till November 2021. The growth, however, has been much below pre-Covid levels, either on monthly or on a cumulative basis. The other challenge which the industry has been facing in CY2021 is rising Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices, which as of December 2021, has gone up ~ 67% on a YoY basis. With scheduled international operations, yet to start and domestic passenger recovery still a work-in-progress the Indian aviation industry is estimated to report a net loss of ~Rs. 250-260 billion in FY2022, with recovery in domestic passenger traffic to pre-Covid levels expected only by FY2024.

Hospitality Sector

Vinutaa S, Assistant Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

While the first few months of FY2022 were impacted because of Covid 2.0, the hotel industry witnessed faster-than-expected ramp up in Q2 and Q3 FY2022. This was because of easing restrictions, high pace of vaccination and pent-up demand, which has resulted in leisure travel within the country. Domestic business travel also started picking up, mainly to project sites/manufacturing locations from specific sectors.

The demand upswing resulted in pickup in occupancies, with 50%+ occupancy in Oct and Nov-21. Some premium hotels, especially at leisure destinations, also witnessed ARRs bounce back to pre-Covid levels in the recent weeks. However, on a pan-India basis, ARRs still remain at a 20-25% discount to pre-Covid levels as international and business-oriented traffic is yet to come back/recover in a meaningful manner.

The Omicron variant and the fear of an intense third wave of the pandemic has been a sentiment dampener over the last one week or so; and some cut down in discretionary business travel has been witnessed. However, hoteliers have not witnessed any major cancellations of retail/leisure bookings or events thus far. The situation is evolving, and demand will depend on the efficacy of vaccines and a further Covid wave.

Commercial Real Estate-Office and Retail

Mathew Kurian Eranat, Vice President & Co-Group Head, ICRA Limited

Pent-up demand expected to translate into healthy office leasing traction in 2022; strong recovery in metrics of retail malls post second wave of pandemic: Resumption of work from offices, attempted by corporate occupiers in Q4 FY2021, got deferred due to the second wave of the pandemic with gradual resumption of offices now are expected from early 2022. Consequently, the new leasing demand had seen significant correction which, along with the addition of newly completed inventory, resulted in vacancies inching up across most large portfolios by around 5-10%, even as collection efficiencies remained healthy. Large office parks reported physical occupancy in the range of 10-15% as of September 2021; as office resumption picks up, it is expected to translate into healthy traction in new leasing activity, as the underlying demand potential from occupiers, who are mainly IT/ITES and global MNC companies, is estimated to remain strong.

Retail malls have witnessed a faster recovery in operational metrics and cash flows after the second wave, compared to the recovery after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, driven by faster relaxation in the restrictions and improved vaccination coverage. The recovery trajectory is expected to sustain in H2 FY2022 driven by pent-up demand, high vaccination coverage, resumption of multiplexes which also coincided with the festive season. The recovery in rental income is expected to be up to 75% of pre-Covid rentals for FY2022, which was around 45-50% in FY2021. During FY2023, the rental income is expected to be in line or better than the numbers achieved in the pre-Covid years. While the risks of subsequent waves of pandemic impacting business operations will remain, the strong recovery trends underscore the long-term growth potential for the sector and assets with strong liquidity profile and financial flexibility are expected to fare well, despite the temporary disruptions.

Residential Real Estate

Mathew Kurian Eranat, Vice President & Co-Group Head, ICRA Limited

Beginning of an upcycle supported by improved affordability, and consolidation gains support growth prospects of larger developers: Overall the housing sales volume in top eight cities (Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), National Capital Region (NCR), Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad) declined by 29% on YoY basis in FY2021, despite a swift rebound in H2 FY2021. During H1 FY2022, sales in top eight cities grew by 74% on YoY basis, partly on the back of lower base. Demand has been supported by stamp duty cuts, multi-year low interest rates and rise in income levels, which have enhanced affordability and supported the strong rebound in sales post the lockdowns during the pandemic waves. The growth in hiring numbers, stable income levels and demand for better and larger homes on account shift to hybrid working model in customer segments working in IT/ITES, BFSI and related sectors have also supported the demand levels. Larger and listed developers have reported strong performance, as the trend of consolidation in the market continues. While the demand trend is expected to remain in an upcycle in the near term, market share gains for larger developers may accentuate the pressure on smaller developers who had already been impacted by various regulatory developments in the sector over the last half-decade.

Telecom Sector

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior V .P & Group Head, ICRA

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head, ICRA Limited

After facing headwinds for a considerable period, the industry has started witnessing signs of improvement, led by the relief/reforms package announced by the Govt. of India which offered moratorium on spectrum and AGR dues over the next four years. This was complemented by tariff hikes implemented by the telcos. ICRA estimates that the moratorium on the dues is likely to result in an annual cash flow saving of Rs. 38,000 crore for the telcos opting for this scheme. Further, the tariff hikes and the organic upgradation of subscribers from 2G to 4G are likely to result in revenue growth of 18-20% with operating profits reaching Rs. 1.3 lakh crore for FY2023. This improvement is expected to result in expansion in debt coverage metrics, as reflected by debt/OPBDITA of 3.5x and interest coverage of 3.4x for FY2023, despite debt levels remaining elevated.

IT Services Sector

Deepak Jotwani, Assistant Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

Carrying forward the growth momentum witnessed over 2021, Indian IT services companies are expected to report steady growth of 9-12% over the near term, supported by accelerated demand for digitisation globally. While there have been some concerns over elevated attrition levels, IT services companies are reskilling employees and scaling up the hiring activity significantly to overcome this challenge. Despite some moderation in margins owing to wage inflation and normalisation of expenses with partial resumption of work-from-office, industry margins are expected to remain healthy at 22-24%. ICRA maintains its Stable outlook on the Indian IT services industry, arising from the steady earnings outlook over the near to medium term, as well as the comfortable credit profile of the major industry participants.

Construction Equipment

Mayank Agarwal, Assistant V.P & Sector Head, ICRA

Mayank Agarwal, Assistant Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

ICRA’s outlook on the mining and construction equipment industry remains ‘Stable’. The second wave of Covid along with an increase in equipment prices (following changes in emission norms and steep rise in input costs) coupled with muted rentals and erratic monsoons slowed down the volume growth post Q1 CY2021 and thus, the volumes for H2 CY2021 are estimated to remain weaker than H2 CY2020. While this trend is expected to continue for Q1 CY2022, ICRA believes that with easing of supply-side constrains and continued infrastructure push, the domestic MCE industry will report a 7-10% annual volume growth during CY2022 (CY2021 to witness 15-17% growth).

While cost increase associated with emission norm change and increasing input cost have been passed periodically by the OEMs, relatively volatile demand curtailed their ability to pass it on fully and hence, future hike in price of equipment remains inevitable. In terms of profitability, commodity headwinds and increased cost of logistics will weigh on profitability over the next few quarters.

Ports Sector

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head, ICRA Limited

The port sector has witnessed a healthy recovery in cargo volumes, which are largely back to pre-Covid levels with only ~0.7% decline during 8m FY2022 compared to 8m FY2020, while on a YoY basis the volumes have grown by 6.5%. While compared to the same period in FY2020, cargo segments like containers and iron ore have witnessed an improvement, coal and fertilisers volumes are still subdued due to lower thermal coal demand and significant ramp up in fertiliser prices. With the expected pick-up in economic growth for the full year FY2022, the overall volumes at Indian ports should continue to witness improvement and are expected to grow by 6%-9% on a YoY basis and by 1-3% compared to FY2020. The credit profile of ICRA-rated port entities did not witness any material adverse impact owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, due to a comfortable balance sheet and strong sponsors. In the current fiscal, the growth in volumes should aid in revenue and profitability of the port segment due to improved capacity utilisation and benefits of operating leverage.

Gas Utilities

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head, ICRA Limited

After witnessing some moderation in FY2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the domestic gas consumption is expected to grow by 9-11% in the current fiscal, driven by demand revival, post easing of lockdown measures, increasing offtake by City Gas Distribution (CGD) entities, expansion in pipeline network, new LNG terminals and commissioning of new fertiliser plants. Further, despite the increase in gas prices, the cost economics remain favourable for CNG and PNG (domestic) compared to alternate fuels, although the competitive intensity is higher in case of industrial fuels. Despite large debt-funded capex expected over the next few years, the credit profile of the incumbents in the sector is expected to remain healthy with average interest coverage expected at 23.0x for FY2023 from 22.4x for FY2021 and Total debt/OPBDITA expected at 0.62x from 0.72x for the sector, supported by regulatory protection or dominant competitive position of most of the entities in this sector, besides healthy margins, liquidity and strong financial flexibility.

Upstream Sector

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head, ICRA Limited

The upstream oil and gas industry benefitted from increasing demand and crude oil prices touching multi-year highs in the current fiscal which translated into healthy profitability and cash flow generation. ICRA expects oil prices to remain elevated in the medium term owing to increasing demand and graded increments in the production and supply by OPEC+ which will continue to support the revenues and profitability of the upstream oil and gas companies. However, any further waves of the pandemic or lockdowns remain a key risk to the demand and prices of crude oil. Moreover, the domestic gas prices have also witnessed an increase and it is expected that the domestic gas prices will go up further in the next round of revision, which would also support the profitability of the oil and gas companies. For the ICRA set of upstream companies, while revenues are expected to increase by more than 30% in FY2022 over the low base of FY2021, the growth is expected to taper to mid-single digits in FY2023 and FY2024 and operating margins remain healthy. The credit profile of the industry is likely to remain healthy with total debt/OPBDITA at around 1.6-1.7x in FY2023 and FY2024.

Refining & Marketing

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head, ICRA Limited

The demand for petroleum products is witnessing an increasing trend after subsiding during the March-April 2021 period due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to grow by 8-10% YoY in FY2022. The core gross refinery margins (GRMs) of refiners were weak in the initial few months of FY2022 but have improved sharply with increasing demand amid limited supplies and permanent closure of refining capacities in high-cost locations. However, any further waves of Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown measures remain a key concern.  The under-recoveries are expected to be minimal in FY2022 owing to the increase in domestic LPG prices. Owing to the deleveraging by RIL, the industry debt levels have declined from Rs. 5.8 lakh crore in March 2020 to Rs. 4.5 lakh crore by March 2021 and are expected to further moderate to Rs 4.1 lakh crore by March 2024. The debt coverage indicators of the industry are expected to improve – with interest coverage expected to improve to 8.0x for FY2023 and 8.5x by FY2024 from 5.8x for FY2021 and Total debt/OPBDITA expected to decline to 2.3x and 2.2x from 2.7x over the same period.


Cement Sector

Anupama Reddy, Assistant V. P & Sector Head, ICRA

Anupama Reddy, Assistant Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

Cement production is expected to reach 358 million MT in FY2023, higher by 7% pre-Covid: Despite the second wave, the all-India cement production is expected to report an increase by 12% to 332 million MT in FY2022, supported by the low base effect of previous year, strong rural housing demand and pick-up in infrastructure activity. ICRA expects the production to grow by 8% to 358 million MT in FY2023, higher by 7% pre-Covid. The OPBIDTA/MT declined by 3% YoY in H1 FY2022 due to rising input costs and the elevated costs are expected to exert pressure on the operating margins, resulting in a decline by 200 to 230 bps to 22%-22.5% in FY2022 and sustain at similar levels in FY2023. The industry is likely to add 45-50 million MTPA of capacity in FY2022 – FY2023, largely funded through internal accruals and on balance sheet liquidity. The credit metrics are expected to remain strong in FY2022-FY2023.

Sugar Sector

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head, ICRA Limited

Structural changes are underway in the sugar industry aided by supportive policies: The sugar industry ended SY2021 with a production of 31.2 million MT of sugar, exports of 7.1 million MT and a closing stock of 8.3 million MT, equivalent to 3.7 months of sugar consumption. A balanced demand-supply position for sugar resulted in an uptrend in prices from August 2021 and this is expected to be maintained at higher levels in 2022 as well, given the supply constraints continuing from Brazil as well as increased diversion towards ethanol in India, restricting sugar production. Additionally, an advancement of 20% ethanol blending with petrol timeline to 2025 by Government of India has spurred a flurry of investments for distillation capacities with some of them commencing operations in 2022 itself, which augurs well for the inventory position in SY2022, which is likely to be curtailed to around 6-7 million MT. A confluence of factors, including prices stabilising at higher levels, higher sucrose diversion as well as encouraging export outlook underscores expectations of strengthening profitability (notwithstanding increase in cane prices) and coverage metrices for integrated sugar mills, besides improvement in working capital intensity in FY2023.

Dairy Sector

Sheetal Sharad, V .P & Sector Head, ICRA

Sheetal Sharad, Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA Limited

Covid-19 had a moderate impact on the domestic dairy industry. On the demand side, the liquid milk segment (which represents over half of revenues) has been largely stable, but contraction was observed in consumption of the value-added dairy products. However, in the recent months, there has been strong revival in both milk and non-milk products, supported by the opening up of institutional and hotels, restaurants and catering segments. ICRA expects the industry to record 9-11% revenue for FY2022 and 7-10% CAGR over the next three years.

On the supply side, the pandemic-hit milk production levels, coinciding with the cattle breeding and insemination period, is expected to keep procurement prices at elevated levels, which, coupled with inflationary cost trends and stable selling prices, shall trim industry margins in FY2022. We expect the credit profile of organised dairy players to remain stable, led by favourable demand outlook and stable earnings.

Fertiliser Sector

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head, ICRA Limited

FY2022 started off on a positive note with the clearance of the entire subsidy backlog by the GoI and timely subsidy release thereafter. However, with a steep rise in the fertiliser prices and key inputs in the international markets the profitability of the phosphatic fertilizer industry has faced significant headwinds so far in FY2022. With imports declining sharply amid elevated international prices the systemic inventory levels have also dropped significantly. The GoI, however, has been raising subsidies on phosphatic fertilisers to shield the industry and farmers from the impact of elevated international prices. Going forward, ICRA expects the elevated international prices to sustain till Q1 FY2023. Despite rising input prices, support from the GoI has been amply demonstrated in FY2022 in the form of large additional subsidy support, which is expected to keep the industry’s business risk profile stable.

Gold Jewellery – Retail

Kaushik Das, Vice President & Co-Group Head, ICRA Limited

Overall, the jewellery retail sector witnessed healthy demand trends during the majority of CY2021, barring the moderate impact of the second wave in Q2 CY2021. The industry is estimated to record a strong growth of around 35% in CY2021, albeit on a smaller base, with the demand for jewellery exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the recent months. The consumption has been driven by robust wedding-related purchases and improving consumer sentiments with rising vaccination coverage during the second half of the year. The sales momentum is expected to continue in CY2022, on the back of strong cultural affinity for gold with continued healthy demand for bridal wear.  The industry is likely to post a robust Y-o-Y growth of ~15%. Organised players are expected to witness a higher-than-industry growth of more than 20%, fueled by renewed store expansion undertaken across markets coupled with an increasing shift towards hallmarked products.

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