Print this article

Will Godrej & Boyce ever be listed?

September 05, 2008 02:51 IST

You may know Godrej Group's flagship company Godrej & Boyce for locks and steel cupboards, but its refrigerator segment is the biggest turnover clocker for the more than century-old company.

Godrej & Boyce closed financial year (FY) 2007 with a 179 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 109 crore on a 32 per cent rise in revenue at Rs 2,843 crore. The company, which has a share capital of Rs 6.62 crore, also has a strong balance sheet with reserves of Rs 550 crore and investments with a market value of over Rs 4,500 crore.

Of this, Rs 3,000 crore is the current worth of its stake in its listed subsidiary - Godrej Industries. It has over a dozen unlisted subsidiaries where there could be a potential for unlocking value.

Inspired by the freedom movement and the call for Swadeshi by legendary freedom fighter Dadabhai Naoroji, Ardeshir Godrej established the Godrej Group over 100 years ago.

The first product manufactured by the group was locks. While two Godrej Group companies that manufacture soaps and edible oil are listed, Godrej & Boyce is still privately held. And, it is the jewel of the Group with its FY07 turnover close to Rs 3,000 crore and profit of over Rs 100 crore.

The real story, however, lies in the numbers behind the numbers. Godrej & Boyce was the first Indian company to manufacture refrigerators, and they still contribute the maximum to the company's turnover followed by steel furniture and locks.

Locks are still the only division to utilise 100 per cent installed capacity. While the company's export turnover has doubled from FY06, it still constitutes barely 10 per cent of revenue. Godrej & Boyce has 24 direct and indirect subsidiaries.

Jamshyd Godrej is the Chairman and Managing Director of Godrej & Boyce, while his cousin and Godrej Industries' chairman Adi Godrej is on the board of directors.

The question for most shareholders of the Godrej Group: Will Godrej & Boyce ever be listed?

Arun Giri in Mumbai