Special Correspondent

PCBL board recommends 40% dividend

Spencer’s Retail targets Rs. 1,800 cr. turnover

KOLKATA: The RPG group is exploring the possibility of setting up a second carbon black unit in the South. It already has a unit in Kochi which is now undergoing expansion, entailing an investment of Rs. 140 crore for a 50,000-tonne capacity. The new unit will have a capacity of about one lakh tonnes.

Sources said that talks had already been held in this regard and further dialogues were scheduled to be held later this week. PCBL, which turned in good results for 2007-08, has four units in India and one in Vietnam. Two of its units are located in Gujarat (Vadodara and Mundra), one in Durgapur in West Bengal and one in Kochi, Kerala.

Greenfield plants

Two of the expansion plans are greenfield ones and one is a brownfield expansion. Upon completion, by the first half of 2010, all these units taken together will entail a capacity of five lakh tonnes pushing PCBL to a global ranking of number six from the ninth slot now.

“We aim to be number five in three years,” Mr. Goenka said. He said although carbon black feedstock prices had nearly doubled over a year, increased operational efficiencies have brought a substantial increase in post-tax profit from Rs. 23.53 crore to Rs. 89.30 crore. “We saved Rs. 140 crore through operational efficiencies in 2007-08, based on which the board decided to recommend doubling dividend to 40 per cent.”

On retail, he said the flagship company Spencer’s Retail, was planning to sign several tie-ups shortly with international brands. These would be in the apparel, foods and kids segments.

More tie-ups in offing

“We are very close to signing some of these agreements, which may either be standalone ventures or shop-in-shop ones,” he said.

Pointing out that Spencer’s Retail was doing well, he said the turnover was being estimated at Rs. 1,000 crore in 2007-08 and was being targeted at Rs. 1,800 crore this year. The area would increase from 11.4 lakh sq. ft. to 22 lakh by March 2009.