India Cements Ltd. (ICL), on Monday, reported a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs.56.31 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, up from Rs.21.47 crore in the same quarter in the previous year. Total sales/income from operations stood at Rs.943.95 crore (Rs.783.50 crore) for the quarter under review. Power and fuel went up to Rs.266.84 crore from Rs.232.50 crore. Interest cost was up at Rs.74.95 crore against Rs.40.65 crore. Depreciation charges were Rs.62.19 crore (Rs.61.69 crore).

Cost escalation

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, N. Srinivasan, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, said the third quarter performance should be read in the context of cost escalation caused by increased coal price, rise in power tariff and the like.

Demand growth

While the all-India demand growth was around 10.5 per cent, Mr. Srinivasan said the South witnessed a demand growth for the first time after a long time. Cement demand had gone up by 3.31 per cent for the quarter under review. November and December months of 2011 witnessed a demand growth of 13.92 per cent and 14.98 per cent, respectively, as compared to the corresponding months the previous year. This growth in the South came on top of a negative growth of 13.87 per cent in October 2011, he said. Cement demand during the quarter rose by 2.84 per cent in Andhra Pradesh. “We seem to be moving out of the sluggish phase,” he said. While declining to take a guess on the demand trend, he said, “these are first signs of improvement.”

The net price realisation was Rs.3,461 (Rs.2,904) during the quarter under review. Mr. Srinivasan felt prices won't fall. Rather, he expected the ensuing budget to see revenue mop-up exercise. If that happened, it would set off further escalation in cost. The Managing Director said the fourth edition of IPL (Indian Premier League) fetched ICL profits. He did not, however, reveal any number. He said, “market share does not give pricing power to anybody these days since the industry is too fractured.”

Keywords: India Cements

More In: Companies | Business