Millennium Post

Vedanta quarterly profit up four-fold to `1,866 crore

Driven by higher income, metals and mining major Vedanta Ltd saw its consolidated net profit jump over four times to Rs 1,866.28 crore during the December quarter of the current fiscal.

Led by NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal, it had reported net profit of Rs 408.58 crore in the October-December quarter of the previous fiscal, Vedanta said in a BSE filing. Its total consolidated income from operations of the metals-to-oil group rose significantly to Rs 20,393.03 crore during the third quarter of 2016-17, as against Rs 15,731.48 crore in the year-ago period.

The total expenses of the firm also rose to 16,033.75 crore during the quarter as against Rs 14,216.38 crore in the third quarter of 2015-16.

Vedanta CEO Tom Albanese said: "Volume ramp-up and cost efficiencies across our operations, aided by higher commodity prices, have significantly driven up EBITDA y-o-y. Our financial position remains robust and we continue to strengthen our balance sheet by maximising free cash flow and reducing debt."

He further said that with the company's focus on simplifying the group structure, the Vedanta Limited and Cairn India merger is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.
"The proposed merger of Vedanta Limited and Cairn India is an important strategic step in simplifying the group structure. This was approved by all sets of shareholders in September 2016, and Vedanta expects the transaction to complete in the first quarter of CY2017 (by March, 2017)," the company said.

It said this has been the "best ever quarter for Vedanta Limited in last 2 years. Profit after tax jumped 4.5 times (or 353 per cent) to Rs 1,866 cr in October-December 2016 quarter."

The company said results are driven by higher volumes at Iron Ore, Aluminium & Power, Copper India and Zinc India businesses as well as significant cost and marketing savings and higher commodities prices.

It said it recorded "EBITDA at Rs 6002 crore, up 83 per cent y-o-y" and EBITDA margins of 39 per cent reflects benefits from higher commodity prices and volume ramp-
Vedanta said that as on December 31, 2016, gross debt has been reduced by Rs 1,828 crore to Rs 64,966 crore and net debt stands reduced by Rs 447 crore to Rs 11,514 crore on account of positive free cash flow.

Also, strong operating performance has led to generation of free cash flow of Rs 1,801 crore, it said, adding that its financial position remains strong with total cash and liquid investments of
Rs 53,452 crore.
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