India Cements Ltd — owner of IPL team Chennai Super Kings — on Thursday said it was focussing on its core business of cement and was not distracted by the controversies surrounding the company.
“Our fundamentals are strong. India Cements’ focus is on its core business — cements. It is not distracted...,” company Vice-Chairman and Managing Director N. Srinivasan told mediapersons in Chennai replying to questions about the IPL controversy involving his company.
He also said the company was evaluating options on restructuring its business entities. “We are evaluating every business we are in.”
Currently, Chennai-headquartered India Cements has about 10 subsidiaries across several segments.
Mr. Srinivasan, also the President of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), had to ‘step aside’ from the post on Sunday in the wake of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan’s arrest for alleged role in the IPL betting scandal.
He, however, declined to take any question about cricket and confined his interaction only to India Cements.
Asked about CBI reportedly probing investments made by India Cements in Bharati Cements, one of the companies belonging to YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, he said, the stake was sold after making profits.
“In 2009-10, we invested in Bharati Cements. We made profit and exited from that business”, Mr. Srinivasan, who had been quizzed by CBI in connection with the wealth case against Reddy twice last year, said.
He said the company booked profits of about Rs 25 crore at the time when it exited from Bharati Cements.
Noting that the company was having presence in Andhra Pradesh since 1990, he said, “We have not done anything wrong. Whatever (investments) we sanctioned, is part of our policy.”
Asked whether the company would exit from Hyderabad-based Jagati Publications, one of the media houses that owns television channels and newspapers, also run by Jagan Mohan Reddy, Mr. Srinivasan said, “We will look into it.”
On the company’s restructuring plans, Srinivasan said, the company was focussed on how to “trim” its businesses to focus on its core business — cements.
“We are taking steps. We will make announcements as we go on. We are not distracted by the media. We have taken full advantage (of the market opportunities)...,” he said, adding the company’s significant business was in Andhra Pradesh.
“We have invested about Rs 2,000 crore. We are not able to utilise our own capacity of about 14 million tonnes. We are running only about 9-10 million tonnes (currently),” he said.
“(Once we decide about our restructuring plans) we will come out clearly, (Currently), we are examining everything. After that we will come to conclusions...,” he said.
India Cements reported a 59.5 per cent slump in its net profit at Rs 26.28 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013, mainly due to poor demand and increase in freight charges. Its net profit stood at Rs 64.92 crore during the corresponding period a year ago.