Consumer electronics startup boAt continues its dominance in the wearables and wireless audio accessories segment in India. The company registered over 2X growth in its scale for two consecutive fiscal years: FY21 and FY22. But the firm’s profit dipped 20% in FY22 as cost of procurement outpaced its revenue growth.
boAt’s revenue from operations shot up 2.2X to Rs 2,873 crore during the fiscal year ending March 2022 as opposed to Rs 1,314 crore in FY21, according to its consolidated annual financial statements with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
boAt drives most of its revenue from the sale of audio devices such as wired earphones, wireless earphones, headphones, speakers, wired headphones, and soundbars — all of which contributed 79.2% of the total collections. Income from this vertical rose 85.3% to Rs 2,276 crore during FY22 from Rs 1,228.6 crore in FY21.
The sale of wearables including smart watches formed around 18% of the total revenue which ballooned 9.4X to Rs 515.5 crore in FY22 from Rs 54.8 crore in FY21. The company also cornered Rs 81.5 crore from the sale of cables, charges, mens grooming kits, and gaming equipment during FY22.
boAt booked Rs 13.5 crore as finance income in FY22 which comprised of interest on fixed deposits and other non-operating income.
boAt leads the true wireless stereo (TWS) segment and reported a 46% market share as of Q2, 2022, according to Counterpoint Research. Noise, Boult, MIVI, and pTron were next on the list. As far as manufacturing is concerned, nearly 85% of the devices are still being imported from other countries, mainly China. The cost of procurement of material turned out to be the largest cost element for the company, forming over 80% of the total expenditure. This cost surged 2.3X to Rs 2,346.6 crore in FY22 from Rs 1,020.84 crore in FY21.
boAt outsources its warranty claim and after-sale services to third party contractors and its warranty claim expenses rose 2.6X to Rs 136.6 crore in FY22. Significantly, its employee benefit expenses soared 3.8X to Rs 56.12 crore in the last fiscal year.
Unlike most unicorns and other consumer electronic companies, boAt spent only 3.6% of its overall cost on marketing. This cost stood at Rs 99 crore during FY22.
It also incurred Rs 43.32 crore and Rs 17 crore respectively on logistics and legal fees which steered its total expenditure by 2.3X to Rs 2,787 crore in FY22 as compared to Rs 1,202 crore in FY21.
With over 2.3X jump in the total cost, boAt’s profits narrowed by 20.6% to Rs 68.7 crore in the last fiscal year against Rs 86.5 crore during FY21. Its cash outflows from operations also grew 2.6X to Rs 368.7 crore during the 12-month period ending March 2022.
As per Fintrackr’s analysis, EBITDA margin and ROCE were depressed to 4.96% and 19.86% respectively which could be attributed to higher cash burn during FY22. On a unit level, boAt spent Re 0.97 to earn a rupee of operating income during the same period.
In the last quarter of FY22, boAt filed its DRHP with SEBI to launch its initial public offer (IPO) worth Rs 2,000 crore and got approval for the same in May 2022. However, it withdrew its listing plans and instead went for a $60 million fresh round from Warburg and Malabar in October 2022.
boAt directly competes with the bootstrapped firm Noise which also registered 2.26X growth in its operating scale to Rs 793 crore during FY22. Unlike boAt, it managed 9% growth in its profit which stood at Rs 36 crore in the last fiscal year (FY22).
With its ‘affordable cool’ image, boAt has had a fantastic journey so far. However, as always, the caveat with the brand remains the strong platform dependence as well as the risk of disruption from any of the upstarts in the market. The firm will definitely face a challenge on the margin front, and how it tackles that will probably define its future.