Carborundum Universal (CUMI) is a 65 years almost debt free company part of Murugappa Group. Founded in 1954 as a tripartite collaboration between the Murugappa Group, The Carborundum Co., USA and the Universal Grinding Wheel Co. Ltd., U.K. , CUMI manufactures a comprehensive product range which includes, Bonded, Coated, Super Abrasives, Ceramics, Electrominerals and Coolants for a wide spectrum of industries. CUMI a Material Science Company, has always been in the forefront of new technologies, harnessing the various properties of materials to make cutting edge products.
With over 30 state-of-theart plants spread across the globe, the Company, is one of the largest players in the Material Science space, with cutting edge products and solutions. CUMI is one of the five manufacturers in the world with fully integrated operations that include mining, fusioning, wind and hydro power stations, manufacturing, marketing and distribution.
The company pioneered the manufacture of Coated Abrasives and Bonded Abrasives in India in addition to the manufacture of Super Refractories, Electro Minerals, Industrial Ceramics and Ceramic Fibres. Today the company’s range of over 20,000 different varieties of abrasives, refractory products and electro-minerals are manufactured in ten locations across various parts of the country.
The company has well-diversified revenue streams with abrasives business contributing about 41% of the total consolidated sales in FY2020 and electrominerals with about 27% and ceramics at about 32%. The company has a leadership position in the domestic abrasives market, and strengthening market position in the global electro-minerals market.
CUMI, makes the widest range of Fused and Non Fused minerals for the Abrasives, Refractory, Ceramic, Metallurgical and Auto industry. With over 140K tons produced at the various CUMI plants across 3 countries, the company is leading global player in this space. The Minerals and Materials industry is moving towards high performance, high purity and cost effective materials. The company’s ability to make high quality, customized fused minerals remains a key technological competence that serves as a competitive edge for our businesses. The Company has progressively built capabilities to develop Non Fused materials like Ceramic Grains for critical, high end applications, NebuloxUltra-light bubble refractory and now Graphene / CNT under the brand name, ‘Grafino’.
The company’s has Established the Boehmite production facility to enable unhindered global expansion in the sol-gel range of products, This will provide capability to produce high purity Aluminas for various applications like engineered Ceramics, LED substrates, electronics, catalysts, 3D printing, etc.
A patented process for NextGen Alumina Zirconia including the process for polycrystalline Alumina and a variety of Fused Magnesias are nearing commercialisation.
High performance engineered solgel grains has been developed and introduced as a new variant for high grinding ratio, faster cutting rates and better finish. t Nebulox ultra-light, porous, high temperature insulation material was developed. t With the increasing emphasis on electric vehicles, the business is focusing on materials for Li-ion batteries.
Technical collaborations were entered into for developing plasma sprayed Ceramic membranes and Nano materials.
The company’s Vision is to be a co-creator of various things that go into the Experience world. Like materials for the batteries that will drive the Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution; Silicon Carbide for electronic applications; High Surface area powders for 3D printing – the possibilities are immense.
With a market share of over 30% in the bonded abrasives segment, CUMI is a strong player in the Indian abrasives industry. The acquisition of VAW in 2007 and the 51% stake in South Africa-based Foskor Zirconia (FZL) in 2008 established CUMI among a handful of global players with product offerings across the electro-minerals value chain; besides, with these acquisitions, the company emerged as the second-largest producer of silicon carbide, and the third-largest producer of zirconia globally. The company has also achieved healthy cost advantages through its strategy of securing the back-end. It integrated backward into silicon carbide, zirconia, and brown/white fused alumina, which are key inputs for its businesses.
The Abrasive division of the company is in the business of Engineering Surfaces. It manufactures and distributes rigid and flexible abrasives and adjacent products that are used in the generation of precision, functional or enduring surfaces. Abrasive materials and Abrasive products are utilized in several end user industries such as automobiles, auto ancillary, metalworking, wood working, railways, aerospace and general engineering. The key product segments of this division are Bonded Abrasives, Coated Abrasives, Metal Working Fluid, Super Abrasives and allied products.
Rigid or Bonded Abrasives products grinds, cleans, scours, abrades or removes solid material by rubbing action or by impact. Bonded Abrasives are divided into vitrified, resinoid and rubber products. Bonded abrasives are manufactured by mixing grains with bonding material, moulding them to shape and then subjecting the output to firing or baking in high temperature and finishing the same to desired dimensions. Bonded Abrasives are made using Glass Bonds (vitrified), Phenolic Resin Bonds.
Bonded Abrasives are used in diverse applications like floor polishing, fabrication, polishing, off-hand tool grinding and precision grinding of diverse products like crank shaft, balls and razor blade across a wide spectrum of industries ranging from automobile, construction, fabrication, steel, bearing etc.
Coated Abrasives are basically hard synthetic minerals coated onto paper, fibre, cloth or film and finally formed into different shapes, sizes and types according to application needs. Coated abrasives are used in light polishing applications. Coated abrasives finds application in automobile, auto ancillaries, white goods, hand and power tools, sanitary ware, furniture, fabrication and construction industry.
Diamond and cubic boron nitride (CBN) are known as Tools for Stones. Wheels and tools made with these abrasives are used in high end applications. CUMI is present in this segment, through its joint venture Wendt India Ltd., Bangalore, India. The major user industries for Tools for Stones are automobile, engineering, cutting tools, refractories, ceramics tile, glass and steel.
Currently bogged down by slowdown in demand especially Auto Sector and light engineering, but will be first to rebound on grenshoot of recovery.
The plants in India operated at about 70% capacity utilisation levels. Some product segments like Coated Abrasives continued to run at near full capacity.
Cumi has more than sixty years of experience in Abrasives manufacturing, application engineering and distribution. The business has ten manufacturing plants located across India, Russia (VAW) and Thailand. The marketing entities in North America, Middle East, China and distributors across the globe provide strong market reach in India and over 55 markets globally.
In order to cater to increased demand for coated products, the division pursued contract manufacturing and the capacity would be augmented during FY20. The company is augmenting its coated abrasives capacity by putting up a coated maker plant at Sriperumpudur which is expected to get commissioned in by end of Q3FY20 or start of Q4FY20. At full utilization the new coated maker will ring in revenue of Rs 300-350 crore per annum.
The company has international recognition as a manufacturer of quality abrasives and a provider of total grinding solutions.
The long term prospects/potential of abrasives continues to be strong. The growing demand for various types of Abrasives from Transportation, Building & Construction and other durable goods industries is expected to drive the demand in India as well as in Asia Pacific Abrasives market. Growth in the United States – which holds the world’s second largest national market for abrasives, is expected to deliver good growth.
The Ceramics business of the company has three product groups viz., Industrial Ceramics, Super Refractoriness and Anti-corrosives. It offers Alumina, Zirconia and Silicon Carbide products of technical ceramic grades addressing Wear and Corrosion protection, Electrical insulation, Thermal protection and Ballistic protection applications. The key user industries for Ceramics business are Power Generation and Transmission, Coal washeries, Grain handling, Sanitary tiles and Sanitary ware, Ballistic protection, Cement, Non-ferrous metals, Iron and Steel industries, Carbon black, Insulators, Furnace building, Glass, Petrochemicals and Construction.
The Industrial ceramics product group offers products which harness the heat resistance / containment, wear resistance and insulation properties of ceramics and also corrosion resistance properties of various materials. The product lines are Industrial ceramics, Anticorrosion products and Bio-ceramics.
The operations are carried out through manufacturing/service facilities located in India, Australia and US. The subsidiaries in North America, Middle East and China also support this business in getting an extended customer reach.
The Industrial Ceramics business based out of India is largely a global business and majority of the sales volumes are through exports. The Company is one of the major players in India, Australia and Europe and in specific product groups in Japan and China.
The company is a global player in Industrial and Engineered Ceramics. It has co-created products with world leaders in the space of Solid Oxide Fuel cells, Vacuum circuit breaker bottles, Oxygen sensors, Lined equipment for various mills, Conveyors, Pulverizers, etc.
Refractory is a material that retains its shape and chemical identity when subjected to high temperatures upto 2000 degrees Celsius and is used in applications that require extreme resistance to heat, such as furnace linings. The Company is a market leader in complex shaped high temperature Application Refractory, Cements, and Monolithic castables (Refractory in powder form). The key user industries for Refractory business are Iron & Steel, Secondary steel, Glass melting, Cement kilns, Carbon Black reactors, Rocket launch pads, Ceramic industry, Petrochemical industry, Thermal Power plants, Non-ferrous melting, Foundry, Heat Treatment furnaces etc.
The Super Refractory division of the company leverages its strong engineering expertise to manufacture complex shape products for critical applications in key segments such as Carbon Black, Petro-chemicals, etc. It participates in expansion and revival projects in glass, carbon black and metallurgical industries. This division is also developed new environmentally responsible products for niche segments such as 1) Superior oxidation resistant refractory tile for waste incineration; 2) Mullite based castables for cement industry; 3) Pre-cast, bottom paving blocks for float glass for the global market. The strategic plan for growth of this division is focus on quantum growth in castable and pre-cast products for the iron & steel, cement and glass industries and high performance specialty products for the export market.
Anti-corrosives (or Prodorite) division:
Prodorite branded Anti-corrosive material is used at highly acidic or basic environment, at any pH range between 1 to 12. The Company is a major player in this industry, serving all kinds of Chemical industries and other industries involving effluent treatments. The Company’s product ranges from Acid resistant wall, Brick, Carbon bricks, Tiles, Lining, Flooring, Screeding, Coating, Piping, Sealants, and Water proof construction chemicals. Also, the Company’s Poly concrete cells are used in Copper and Zinc extraction across the world.
Anti-corrosives division has built capability in vacuum infusion technology to manufacture large composite panels for various applications. This division has mapped out plans to expand its presence in the Wind, Automotive and Railway space. Manufacturing of Nacelle Covers for wind turbines has already started at the Ranipet facility for select customers in wind energy generation. The Company has also established the capability to manufacture epoxy and polyurethane based adhesives, with high structural strength for Ceramic tile lining in coal handling applications in power plants. The Company has invested in the technology to manufacture abrasion and corrosion resistant composites for critical applications, in mineral processing and in flue gas desulphurisation units to remove pollutants in coal-fired power plants. With the global mandate on reducing emissions gaining ground, this business is estimated to grow significantly over the next 5 years.
In FY 2018, this division established a new facility for Thin Film Metallisation. It also started a Pilot Plant for Tape Casting and Physical Vapour Deposition by Sputtering, a unique capability matched by very few companies.
The Company is one of the major players in India, Australia and Russia in specific product groups. With the acquisition of manufacturing assets and customer database of NTK, Japan in FY 2015-16, the Company is now the second largest producer of Metallized Cylinders in the world. In the Wear Ceramics space, there are six major players globally – the Company is one of the reputed players in the world. In the Engineering Ceramics, there are around five players globally with the company being relatively smaller in size. In Australia, CUMI is one of the major players in the Lined Equipment and Mineral processing industry.
The Refractory business in last three years has invested in new technology mainly for Iron & Steel and Foundry industries. The business has also invested in consumable (flow control) products mainly for mini Steel industry. These product lines are of standard regular consumables off the shelf. With strengthened dealer network, constant revenues have been planned during the coming years.
The key user industries for Ceramics business are Power Generation and Transmission, Coal washeries, Grain handling, Sanitary tiles and Sanitary ware, Ballistic protection, Cement, Non-ferrous metals, Iron and Steel industries, Carbon black, Insulators, Furnace building, Glass, Petrochemicals and Construction.
Sales for the first quarter was Rs.444 Crores which is 33% lower than Q1 of last year
Segmental PBIT recorded Rs.34 Crores at the consolidated level, this marks an 8% margin vis-à-vis are 16% margin over the same period last year
The abrasive segment is the most impacted of all segments had recorded a marginally negative margin of 2%. This was largely on account of the low demand end user industries obviously after the lockdown, most of the auto industries, auto-ancillaries at the component manufacturing, construction sector, engineering, all of them closed down in the domestic market, so that has had a big impact.
PAT for the quarter was Rs.20 Crores which is 63% lower than Q1 of last year
At the standalone level sales was at Rs.234 Crores which marks at 45% decline, operating profits were at Rs.6.5 Crores and 88% decline over Q1 of last year. Operating margins were 3% compared to 13% in the previous year and at the segmental level abrasives recorded slightly negative margin of 2%.
Ceramics recorded 9% margin vis-à-vis 18% last year and the electromineral segment recorded 2% positive which is very close to last year’s level despite comparatively sheer days of operations and a drop in revenue.
Company has reduced debt significantly making it almost debt free.
Company has stable ROCE in range of 18-20% since past 5 years.
Company has 294Cr cash balance
Reserves stand at 1839Cr Rs.
Sector Wise Financials-:
Abrasives, CUMI’s largest segment engaged in the business of engineering surfaces recorded 11% decline in growth during the year following a decline in growth in user industries mainly Automotive, Auto ancillary, Fabrication and General Engineering. While the business in Coated Abrasives did reasonably well, the impact of the industry slow-down was very visible in Bonded Abrasives
Despite being a challenging year both in India and globally, the Ceramics business recorded a 4% growth over the previous year.
The Electrominerals business, with its customer portfolio significantly being Refractory and Abrasives users, recorded a marginal growth of 1% in revenues over the previous year.
Over 50 IPRs were created and the seven Centers of Excellence recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India continue to support the technology initiatives across the organisation.
Six projects are underway for development of breakthrough products, process and improvements to accelerate the transition to the imaginative Age -the Carbon Age.
Refractories and composites part of the business delivered a superior performance with a twenty five per cent growth over the last year.
CUMI’s products are being exported to 43 countries spread across North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Asia. It also has a highly diversified customer base in terms of end-user industries, with revenue contribution from international markets (45-50% of consolidated turnover) such as Russia, Australia, China, North America, and Europe. CUMI caters to a diverse set of end user industries including auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), auto ancillaries, general engineering, fabrication, foundry, industrial projects, construction and metal working. A well connected marketing and distribution network of offices and warehouses in India and abroad ensure that service to customers is given prime importance.
Not all stocks are required to give multifold returns , some stocks are like must have in the portfolio to provide stability to the overall portfolio. Carborundum Universal is one such stock . The company has solid track record of consistently paying dividend over past 66 years. Apart from that most of the mutual fund schemes have Carborundum present in their portfolios. Thus overall this stock is worth exploring for long term.
Note-: Carborundum Universal was previously suggested twice in darkhorsestocks.