Actis-controlled Halonix reports strong revenue growth; general lighting business turns around

Lighting products maker Halonix Ltd (formerly Phoenix Lamps) reported a 31.65 per cent increase in revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 over the year-ago period, led by strong growth in the general lighting business.

The general lighting business registered a 39 per cent growth to Rs 69.9 crore in the first quarter. The automotive lamps unit grew 23.3 per cent to Rs 54.5 crore during the period.

More significantly, the loss making general lighting business reported a turnaround in business with a segment profit of Rs 4 crore against a loss of Rs 6.67 crore in the year-ago period. The auto lamps segment also reported better earnings with the profit rising over three times to Rs 20.5 crore.

This helped the firm move into the black compared with a net loss of Rs 7.16 crore in the first quarter of FY13. The company clocked a net profit of Rs 18.5 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 which also grew sequentially by over a fifth compared with Rs 15.2 crore in Q4 FY13.

Halonix’s scrip shot up 20 per cent to close at Rs 48 a share on the BSE, in a strong Mumbai market on Wednesday.

The turnaround in the general lighting business comes as a big development for Actis which is in the process of buying it out from Halonix. Halonix itself is majority owned by the private equity firm.

This is the second attempt by the PE firm to buy out the general lighting business, which would leave the public-listed firm with the smaller but more profitable automotive lighting unit.

Halonix revived its plan to sell its general lighting business earlier this year and its shareholders recently approved the plan to transfer the division to a subsidiary called Halonix Technologies Ltd. The firm disclosed to BSE last month that it has entered into an agreement to sell Halonix Technologies to entities affiliated to Actis.

The general lighting business manufactures and sells compact fluorescent lamps, luminaires and LED technology-based lighting products used in households and commercial establishments. This business competes with the likes of Philips, Havells and Osram.

Private equity firm Actis had acquired a majority stake in the company way back in 2006-07 with a final tranche of 20 per cent stake through an open offer, taking its holding to 66 per cent. The open offer was made at Rs 190 a share and Actis’ investment is deep underwater.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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