The blasts took place at two places within a distance of 100-120 metres at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad on the National Highway No9. The area is an extremely busy commercial zone with several shopping malls, cinema theatres, hospitals and educational institutions
The death toll in Thursday evening’s two bomb blasts at Hyderabad's Dilsukhnagar area has gone up to 15, with the death of a 23-year-old in hospital this morning; 119 people are injured. Sources say wires of close-circuit television cameras near the blast sites had been cut four days ago and the absence of footage could hamper the probe.
Although no group claimed the responsibility for the blasts the use of bombs mounted on cycles had the mark of the Indian Mujahideen. However, there was no official word on who was behind the blasts.
The blasts took place at two places within a distance of 100-120 metres at Dilsukhnagar on the National Highway No. 9. The area is an extremely busy commercial zone with several shopping malls, cinema theatres, hospitals and educational institutions. Both the locations are exactly on the other side of the Dilsukhnagar bus terminus, which is a major junction carrying buses to coastal Andhra region, apart from different parts of the city. The upcoming Hyderabad Metro Rail Project work is also in full swing in the area.
According to reports, the first blast took place at around 6.58pm at a snack kiosk in front of Anand Tiffin Centre, an eatery located near Konark theatre adjacent to the traffic circle, referred to as Rajiv Gandhi Chowk. Even before the people and the passersby could realise what exactly had happened, there were two other loud explosions in a span of one minute at around 7.01pm at a bus stand adjacent to Venkatadri theatre. The bus stand, where the passengers were waiting to return to their homes, was blown off completely and body parts of victims went flying into the air.
“I was standing on the other side of the road waiting for a bus when I heard the bomb explode. The sound was so deafening that I could not understand what was going on. I jumped over the road divider and reached the spot only to find blood-soaked bodies strewn all around and others writhing in pain. It was then I realised that there was a bomb explosion. Immediately, with the help of the others, we stopped a few auto rickshaws and sent the injured to the Yashoda Hospital,” a local businessman said.
According to the preliminary investigation, the bombs were mounted on bicycles—one behind the bus stand and another near the Tiffin Centre, a kiosk selling tea and snacks. Both the bicycles were mangled completely. The LPG cylinder at the snack kiosk also exploded due to the blast. The intensity of the explosion was so strong that the glass panes of the adjacent shopping malls were broken to pieces.
With the earnings season in full swing, our list has undergone several...
Nestle India has posted impressive net profit for the December quarter but the Europe horsemeat fiasco could affect its Indian operations or the brand image could take a beating. Not surprisingly, the fiasco found no mention in the Edelweiss’ analyst report
Nestle India has performed decently for the December 2012 quarter. According to a report by Edelweiss, net sales grew 10% year-on-year (y-o-y) while profit after tax (PAT) grew at an impressive 20.8% y-o-y to Rs278.90 crore. Edelweiss, however, has rated the company as a HOLD (i.e. it expects the scrip to appreciate up to 15% in the next one year) and believes its value is Rs5,050 per share, but at the same time tagged it as a “Sector Performer” (i.e. it expects Nestle India’s returns to match the overall consumer goods sector in the next 12 months). The results were aided by prudent cost management, higher sales and superior product mix and decline in tax rate.
A Moneylife analysis showed that Nestle India has been performing steadily despite difficult times. Its net sales growth for the December quarter (10%) is on par with its three quarter y-o-y average growth rates of 10%. Its operating profit is better, which grew at 28% y-o-y when compared to the three quarter average of 19%. Its return on networth is astoundingly high at 84% which speaks volumes of its brand image and fundamentals. This is why its valuation is at a premium, with its market capitalisation over 20 times its operating profit. But there’s more to this that most Indian investors are probably not aware of.
While the results were good, what is surprising is that there is no mention of the horsemeat fiasco in the Edelweiss analyst report. Nestle has been in the news, in Europe, for all the wrong reasons. Apparently, it was discovered that two of its pasta products, in Italy and Spain, contained traces of horsemeat. The latest debacle that has been raging much of Europe that horsemeat has been found in packaged foods, originated from Britain and Ireland. While it may not concern Nestle’s products sold in India (or the Indian subsidiary for that matter), the fact that it concerns the overall Nestle brand image and management, which has taken a big hit now. Indian retail investors ought to be informed this much at least. It has already removed the pasta products from the shelves in Italy and Spain, after DNA tests confirmed traces of horsemeat. It is quite possible that this fiasco is in the minds of the consumers and it may affect Nestle’s demand in general. This isn’t the first time Nestle has been embroiled in controversy. Earlier, Nestle’s milk product had melamine in Chinese-made milk and infants had died because of it.
Going forward, according to the Edelweiss report, Nestle plans to launch oats under the Maggi brand as a ‘healthy’ extension of its noodle segment. Consumers, however, should be aware of health effects of noodle and soup products which are not really ‘healthy’. We had written in detail over here: Shocking! All instant noodle brands are fooling you on nutrition, health
Some of the highlights of the quarter were the inauguration of its R&D centre in India at Manesar, Harayana. The report said, “This shows increased commitment to India by Nestle SA and the company’s confidence in tapping the India market’s humungous consumer base.” Nestle also acquired 26% stake in Agro and Allied Activities, a milk collection business in western India.
Edelweiss remains optimistic on Nestle despite tagging it a HOLD. The report said, “Nestle remains the best play in the packaged food category in India. We expect new product launches to drive consumer enthusiasm and sustain growth momentum.” It will be interesting how Nestle’s global management handles the crisis.
Check other company reports here.