PACRA Assigns Initial Entity Ratings to Azhar Corporation (Pvt.) Limited
Pakistan's personal and homecare product market has shown an annual growth rate of ~2-3%. There is less gap in demand and supply position, as sufficient production capacities are available to cater in case of any unforeseen demand and/or exports. Over the years within the homecare and laundry products, a gradual switch has been observed from soaps towards liquids and powdered detergents. The market for soap bars posts an annual dip of ~7-10%, whereas, the market for powder detergents posted an annual growth of ~10-12%.
The ratings reflect Azhar Corporation's diversified revenue stream and strong presence in the laundry soap segment with their established brand 'Gai Soap'. Being a market leader in this segment, the Company generates most of its revenue from local sales, while nominal exports are made to Afghanistan. Following the industry trend, the Company has a presence in the detergent market (Powder detergent - Gai Powerwash and Xtra Neat). In 2014, the Company entered the branded Vegetable Ghee/Edible Oil segment, with- Gai Banaspati and Gai Cooking Oil. The Company’s Oil/ Ghee business is in a challenging phase and portrays a fluctuating trend, impacting the overall performance. The topline is dominated by the laundry soap division, as the Company has maintained a strong network of dealers in the suburbs. Margins have experienced a recovery, supplemented by lower cost of borrowings. Financial profile of the Company remains stable owing to moderately leveraged capital structure; consisting of short-term debt only, obtained to finance the working capital requirement. The Company's coverage ratios remain strong. Over the years, demonstrated support from sponsors bodes well for the ratings.
The ratings are dependent on the management's ability to prudently manage its market share, while maintaining business margins. Pressure on business volume and margins owing to the high input costs and market conditions may negatively impact the ratings.
Azhar Corporation (Pvt.) Limited was incorporated in 1979, and principally manufactures Personal, Homecare and Edible Oil products at an installed capacity of 126,000MT/annum. These include Laundry Soap, Beauty Soap, Bar Soaps, and Detergent Powders. The Company also manufactures Vegetable Ghee and Cooking Oil at an installed capacity of 45,000MT/annum.
Ownership of the Company vests equally with the families of Mr. Azhar Iqbal and Mr. Hassan Munawwar (50% each). The Board is dominated by the Sponsoring family, and includes Mr. Azhar Iqbal and Mr. Hassan Munawwar only. They are assisted by a team of professionals.