BUSINESS

ACC bucks trend, H1 net up

MUMBAI OCT. 22. The Associated Cement Companies (ACC) recorded a net profit of Rs. 72.02 crores for the half year ended September 30, 2003, up by 189 per cent compared to Rs. 24.96 crores in the corresponding period of last fiscal. Sales volume of cement, including traded cement, was 75.75 lakh tonnes as compared to 70.18 lakh tonnes an increase of 7.9 per cent. The industry growth rate was 4.3 per cent, according to a company release.

Total income in the first half was Rs. 1,903.50 crores registering an increase of 12 per cent over the corresponding period last year. On account of better volumes, reduced costs and moderate increase in price realisation the operating profit before interest, depreciation, exceptional items and tax was higher at Rs. 216.57 crores (Rs. 171.91 crores). Interest cost dropped by 12 per cent to Rs. 49.23 crores (Rs. 55.84 crores).

The Chaibasa cement plant is the last of the wet process plants in the company's fold. A modernisation programme to upgrade the plant with a modern dry process 1.3 million tonne clinkering facility along with a 15 MW thermal captive power plant is being taken up for implementation.

Indal

Indian Aluminium Company (Indal), belonging to the Aditya Birla group, has reported a net profit of Rs. 56.80 crores in the half-year ended September 30, 2003, against Rs. 55.50 crores in the same period last year. This was largely due to the higher effective tax rate which increased tax charge by two and a half times to 25.7 per cent.

The profit before tax was Rs. 81.80 crores, a jump of 24 per cent over Rs. 66.20 crores.

Net sales and operating revenue were up 13 per cent at Rs. 771 crores (Rs. 679.80 crores) and exports 6 per cent at Rs. 210 crores.

The contributing factors included record output from the alumina plants, higher metal output from the expanded Hirakud smelter capacity and substantial growth in sheet exports coupled with a thrust on domestic sales of value added products.

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