Ashok Leyland – Lackluster Performance

Domestic sales were muted (up 1% YoY) offset by a significant decline in export sales (-57% YoY). Truck sales grew by 5% YoY aided by low base effect last year. Bus sales fell 29% YoY primarily due to high base effect, we believe base effect will remain challenging for bus sales over the next 4-5 months.

Domestic MHCV goods sales grew by 7% YoY. Our channel checks indicate that retail offtake is not very buoyant but growth is being aided by a low base last year. Freight rates remain reasonably buoyant: +2%Y/Y, +1%MoM – the recent hike in diesel prices has been partially passed on.

Management maintained its outlook of 8-10% growth in truck sales for the industry and ~15% growth for Ashok Leyland in FY09E. We believe market share gains for Ashok Leyland will be extremely difficult as Tata Motors launches its new products over the next two years.