Riding on the back of robust sales, state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) on Friday reported a 30.9 per cent jump in its net profit at Rs. 1,403 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, against Rs.1,072 crore in the year-ago period.

Total sales (income from operations) rose by 26 per cent to Rs.9,280 crore from Rs.7,386 crore.

The net profit was above expectations while sales income was in line with estimates.

Numbers would not have been so encouraging had it not been for the factoring in of an accounting change, a statement issued by the company said.

The profit before tax for the quarter stood at Rs.2,065 crore against Rs.1,644 crore in the same period in the previous year, an increase of nearly 26 per cent.

With this, BHEL has maintained its track record of earning profits uninterruptedly for nearly four decades. BHEL's turnover has increased by three times and net profit by four times in the last five years.

With a highest-ever order book of Rs. 1,58,000 crore at the end of the third quarter, the company expects to achieve robust growth in 2010-11 and beyond.

BHEL was recently conferred the maximum number of 7 ‘ICWAI National Awards for Excellence in Cost Management', among public and private sector companies.

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