BUSINESS

Nalco maintains dividend

VISAKHAPATNAM OCT. 31. The Centre-owned National Aluminium Company (Nalco) will pay a dividend of 40 per cent for 2001-02, maintaining the previous fiscal's outgo. The total amount payable on the paid-up capital of Rs. 644.31 crores works out to Rs. 257.72 crores, which is 62.95 per cent of the profit after tax of Rs. 409.35 crores.

Addressing the shareholders at the 21st annual general meeting in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, Nalco's Chairman and Managing Director, C. Venkataramana, said during the last fiscal, the company posted a record performance in all areas of its operation.

"Despite improved production and productivity, the net profit after tax decreased during the year from Rs. 655.83 crores in 2000-01," he said and attributed the lower profit to depressed London Metal Exchange prices at $1,395 a tonne against $1,533 in the previous year. The rise in prices of all major raw materials also impinged on the company's profitability. The third causative factor was the additional pay-out burden of Rs.106.49 crores following the 10-year wage revision, inclusive of payments relating to the past period.

Mr. Venkataramana revealed that the company's 2.30 lakh tonne smelter plant crossed its rated capacity for the second year in succession by producing a record 2.31 lakh tonnes of aluminium as compared to 2.30 lakh tonnes last year.

Export of the metal at 2.31 lakh tonnes exceeded the previous record of 2.29 lakh tonnes.

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