UltraTech Cement, an Aditya Birla Group company, reported a net profit of Rs. 601 crore for the third quarter of 2012-13, marginally lower than the year-ago figure of Rs. 617 crore largely due to higher costs and subdued demand for cement during the period.

Domestic sales growth of grey cement remained flat at 9.62 million tonnes while it was 2.62 lakh tonnes (2.46 lakh tonnes) for white cement and wall care putty, a company statement said.

Net sales during the quarter was 6.4 per cent higher at Rs. 4,857 crore while the operating profit was 2.3 per cent higher at Rs. 1,145 crore.

Higher costs

During the quarter the increase in railway freight and a hike in diesel prices had its impact on costs. Imported coal remained at $ 100 per tonne levels but the benefit of softening in coal prices was partly offset by the depreciation in the rupee, the company said. The additional clinkerisation plants at Chhattisgarh and Karnataka are expected to be operational by early 2013-14 and will add 9.2 million tonnes to UltraTech’s capacity taking the total capacity to 62 million tonnes.

In its outlook, the company said the surplus scenario in the industry is likely to continue over the next three years. “Input costs are likely to increase in line with general inflation with margins remaining range bound,’’ the company said.

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