More than 1,000 listed companies disclosed their financial numbers for the quarter ended June this month, taking benefit of the relaxation given by the market regulator.
In July, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) allowed companies an extra month for their June-quarter result filings due to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns to control the spread. Under normal circumstances, a listed company has to declare its quarterly numbers within 45 days. As a result, the deadline for filing June quarter results ends on August 15.
However, only 1,538 companies out of the 4,000-odd listed firms managed to declare their results within the usual deadline. Between August 15 and September 15, nearly 2,000 companies disclosed their numbers.
“Given that the June quarter financials will be the first set which provides the full impact of Covid-19 related lockdown on the business, it is understandable that the companies and auditors have had to navigate the audit process with higher degree of scrutiny. While some companies have proactively submitted the financials prior to the deadline, the impact of Covid-19 related lockdown, be it availability of resources or matters of concern, has not been uniform across sectors or geographies. Hence, it will be unfair to compare the timing of submission in this quarter,” said Vishal Yaduvanshi, Partner, IndusLaw.
Experts said the deadline extension helped take off some stress for India Inc.
“Sebi’s extension of the deadline to publish the June quarter results by a month until September 15 did help listed companies focus their attention on the restoration of business operations disrupted due to Covid-19 and recovery from other related stress areas such as restoration of cash cycle and working capital management. Blackout periods got pushed accordingly helping certain companies raise capital within their targeted timelines,” said Jitesh Shahani, partner, L&L Partners.
Rajesh Thakkar, partner & leader - Transaction Tax, BDO India said as the deadline for filing the results for the quarter and year-ending March 2020 got pushed to July 31, the extension for filing June quarter results was warranted.
Some believe the Sebi should now revert to the original deadlines as such leeways keeps investors in the dark.
“While delays in quarterly reporting of financial results doesn’t help investors, these were unique circumstances which demanded such measures. It is, however, unlikely that the SEBI would provide similar extensions any further,” said Shahani.