The results for the January-March 2017 quarter may appear impressive at first glance — corporate India’s revenues grew 10 per cent and net profit was up 20 per cent for 2,264 companies. But the strong revenue growth was due to rising commodity prices and the improvement in net profit can be attributed to better profitability of public sector banks (PSBs) and metals producers on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. Many PSBs reported a profit after a loss in the March 2016 quarter, which, in turn, was a result of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) asset quality review that required higher provisioning for bad loans in financial year 2016. Net profit growth at 30 per cent was better in the third quarter of FY17. If the financial and oil and gas sectors are excluded from the Q4 analysis, the weakness becomes apparent: Revenues grew by just 5.9 per cent for 1,860 companies and net profit was actually down by 6.7 per cent YoY — the lowest in nine quarters.