UltraTech Cement reported a 52 per cent drop in net profit for the second quarter of 2013-14 at Rs.264 crore.

Demand during the quarter remained sluggish on account of prolonged monsoon and low offtake from infrastructure and housing sectors, a company statement said.

The company’s net sales for the period were slightly lower at Rs.4,502 crore against Rs.4,699 crore, while operating profit was down 33 per cent at Rs.717 crore against Rs.1,076 crore.

The company said the benefit of softening in prices of imported coal was negated by the depreciation in value of the rupee. Logistics and raw material costs continued to rise given the high diesel prices.

The company said the outlook continued to remain challenging.

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