Surprised that Q1 results weren\'t too bad? Just look at operational expenses

Spending on advertising and promotion, travel, freight and forwarding were down sharply

Mumbai: Most Sensex companies' first-quarter employee benefits expenses saw only minor change compared to the fourth quarter of FY19-20 just before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Simply put, salary cuts and job losses in these companies were much less than what is being talked about in the wider universe.

Their other operational expenses like advertising and promotion, travel, freight and forwarding were down sharply, however.

This helped them post healthy profits and post better than expected results in the April-June 2020 quarter, an analysis of top Sensex companies representing various sectors by Financial Chronicle showed.

For example, employee benefit expenses were down sharply for Hindustan Unilever (Rs 1434 crore), Infosys (Rs 688 crore), Reliance Industries (Rs 545
crore), SBI (Rs 276.95 crore), Tata Steel (Rs 189.44).

But for HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti, Ultratech Cement, Titan Company, Nestle, Asian Paints and Bajaj Finance employee benefit expenses were down by less than Rs 100 crore.

It was a tad higher for Tata Consultancy Services (Rs 42 crore), HDFC (Rs 6.48 crore), ITC (Rs 25.88 crore) while Bharti Airtel’s employee expenses were higher by Rs 125 crore and Sun Pharma’s by Rs 107.15 crore.

Bharti Airtel announced a one-time bonus for its employees as a token of appreciation for helping the company navigate in these turbulent times.

Other operational expenses were down significantly by Rs 6,816.17 crore for State Bank of India, for ICICI Bank by Rs 6,179.24 crore, Tata Steel by Rs 3,800.98 crore, Maruti by Rs 1,750.5 crore and ITC by Rs 1378.4 crore and Sun Pharma by Rs 630.9 crore.

For Hero MotoCorp other expenses were down by Rs 483.35 crore. For Hindustan Unilever advertising and promotion expenses were down by
Rs 3,538 crore, for Bharti Airtel by Rs 205.4 crore, for Titan Company by Rs 76 crore.

For software major Infosys travel expenses were down by Rs 551 crore to just Rs 116 crore compared to Rs 667 crore during the previous quarter.

For bulk goods mover Ultratech Cement freight and forwarding expenses were lower by Rs 1072.72 crore at Rs 1605.85 crore compared to Rs
2678.57 crore in the previous quarter.

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