Millennium Post

ACC quarterly net dips 41% to `237 cr as demand crumbles

Cement maker ACC on Tuesday reported a drop of 40.84 per cent in its consolidated net profit to Rs 236.54 crore for the quarter ended March 31 owing to slackened demand in the domestic market.

The company, which follows January to December as its fiscal year, had posted net profit of Rs 399.85 crore during the same period last year. “With slack demand for cement from infrastructure and general construction sector in January-March quarter, the overall cement sales volume registered a decline compared with the corresponding period last year,” the company said in
a statement.

It added, “The overall operating costs for cement business registered an increase of 3.6 per cent compared with the previous year.” The company’s total consolidated turnover for the quarter under review saw a decline of 2.75 per cent, which stood at Rs 2,885.44 crore compared with Rs 2,967.14 crore a year ago. During the quarter, sales volume too declined to 5.82 million tonnes as against 6.48 million tonnes in the year-ago period. Its total income from operations increased a modest 1.75 per cent year-on-year to clock Rs 3,080.13 crore.

The company’s EBITDA for the quarter went up 18.31 per cent to Rs 497.20 crore. “EBITDA for the quarter reflects continued margin improvements,” the company said. During the quarter, ACC also received Rs 139.74 crore as incentive from the Jharkhand government following a high court order, which helped push up its EBITDA.

The company is hopeful that cement demand will improve in the next two quarters, saying its focus will continue to be on performance. At the company’s annual general meeting last month, ACC Chairman NS Sekhsaria had said: “We see a modest but steady revival for the Indian economy in 2015. This will have a positive impact on infrastructure, housing and construction sectors and increase the demand for cement.” The company is now looking forward to commission its clinker production unit and allied grinding facility at its Jamul plant in Durg district of Chhattisgarh by the end of this year.

Holcim, the Swiss cement group, which is pushing ahead with a plan to combine with French rival Lafarge, holds a 50.01 per cent stake in ACC though its Indian unit Ambuja Cements.
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