DCI maintains 120 p. c. dividend

PwC to assist in preparing corporate plan

R. Sampath

VISAKHAPATNAM: The public sector Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCI) here has declared an unchanged dividend of 120 per cent for 2004-05, including an interim of 40 per cent. The outgo on this count will be Rs. 38.21 crore, including the dividend tax of Rs. 4.61 crore, against Rs. 37.91 crore (tax Rs. 4.31 crore).

The Chairman and Managing Director, N. K. Gupta, said the profit after taxation stood at Rs. 113.29 crore against Rs. 170.01 crore. He attributed the reduced net profit to the payment of corporate tax on account of the discontinuance of the benefit under Sec. 33AC of the Income-tax Act from the start of the last fiscal and due to the benefit of tonnage tax not being extended to dredgers. "With the Supreme Court's opinion that `dredgers are ships', the benefit of tonnage tax is being extended to dredgers since April 1 this year,'' he said. For the same reason, the earnings per share of DCI had come down to Rs. 40.46 from Rs. 60.72 in 2003-04.

PwC to benchmark DCI

Capt. Gupta said the DCI, a Mini-Ratna category-I PSU with a global ranking of No. 6, had been rated the best `mid-sized PSU' by the India Today-CRISIL survey undertaken in March last. The CMD said the Delhi-based PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had been appointed to benchmark DCI against reputed dredging companies and assist it in preparing the corporate plan for 2005-10.

PwC would also identify and finalise joint ventures or special purpose vehicles with leading foreign companies. "It has already short-listed two such companies and discussions with them are in final stages.''

Citing DCI's new role as a stakeholder in the Sethu Samudram Ship Channel Project, he said it had been nominated to dredge in the E3-E4 segment of the projcet, involving about 13 million cubic metres (cu.m).

The work would be completed within 24 months. He hinted at DCI bidding for another segment in the project.

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