The global markets might be in turmoil, the biggest names in tech might be laying off thousands of workers, and fears of a recession might be looming across the world, but Indian public companies seem to be raking in record profits.
A record six Indian companies have listed profits of more than Rs. 10,000 crore in Q2. This is a pretty remarkable achievement, given how no Indian company had recorded quarterly profits of more than Rs. 10,000 crore until January 2019, when Reliance had become the first company to achieve the feat. But in the last quarter, Reliance, ONGC, SBI, HDFC Bank, LIC and TCS have all reported net profits of more than Rs. 10,000 crore each.
The highest net profit was reported by Life Insurance Company of India, whose net profit rose 11 times to Rs. 15,952 crore in Q2. The rise in LIC’s net profit was chiefly due to a change in its accounting policy, through which transferred Rs 14,272 crore to the shareholders’ account from the non-participatory account.
The next highest net profit was reported by Reliance, which had a profit of Rs. 13,656 crore in the September quarter. Reliance’s profit was down marginally below its net profit of Rs. 13,680 crore in the same quarter the previous year. In 2019, Reliance had become the first Indian company to report a net profit of more than Rs. 10,000 crore in a quarter.
SBI meanwhile reported its highest-ever quarterly profit in Q2, with a profit of Rs. 13,265 crore. SBI’s shares have soared since the announcement, and have touched a record high of Rs. 622 per share.
State-owned oil company Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, meanwhile, reported a net profit of Rs 12,826 crore on a standalone basis in the second quarter. ONGC reported a revenue of Rs. 38,321 crore over the same period.
HDFC Bank also reported a net profit of more than Rs. 10,000 crore with a Rs. 11,125 crore profit in Q2. Its profit was up 22% over its profit in the same quarter last year.
TCS was the newest entrant to the Rs. 10,000 crore profit club, reporting a profit of Rs. 10,431 crore in Q2. This was the first time in the company’s history that it had reported a profit of more than Rs. 10,000 crore. “We have reported a very strong quarter with good demand resilience,” TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan said.
These are pretty remarkable results, and show how corporate India might be firing on all cylinders at once. The companies which have reported these record profits span industries from oil-and-gas to technology to banking, and this could indicate India’s upcoming economic expansion might be broad-based, instead of being confined to a few sectors or companies. And what makes these results even more remarkable is that while stock markets from the US to China are stumbling, India is emerging as an island of stability — and growth — during these difficult times.