BUSINESS

SPIC's operating profit up

CHENNAI JUNE 26. Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation (SPIC) has reported a rise in operating profit at Rs. 67.69 crores in the year ended March 31, 2003 against Rs. 31.23 crores in the previous year. This was possible because of a reduced outgo on interest, better management of working capital and a recast of debt portfolio. The turnover, including other income, stood at Rs. 1,654.57 crores against Rs. 1,721.98 crores.

Interest charges claimed Rs. 178.03 crores (Rs. 202.35 crores) and depreciation Rs. 43.34 crores (Rs.44.38 crores). The company has, in the accounts, reckoned issues relating to its investment in SPIC Petrochemicals and the accumulation in its work-in-progress aggregating to Rs. 222.01 crores, which resulted in a loss of Rs. 375.69 crores against the loss of Rs. 215.51 crores in the previous year.

In the auditors' qualification statement it has been indicated that the possibility of recovering fully the investment of Rs. 448.72 crores invested in Spic Petrochemicals was remote.

However the company is hopeful that with the identification of a strategic partner and resolution of legal issues, the project of Spic Petro will be implemented. The company is also confident that in respect of its unrealised claim of Rs. 369.55 crores, of retention price receivable, it has a good case for collection. However the auditors were unable to express any opinion on the recoverability of the subsidy referred to above.

First Leasing

First Leasing Company of India has reported a net profit of Rs. 19.11 crores in the year ended March 31, 2003 against Rs. 17.88 crores in the previous 16 months registering an annualised growth of 42.5 per cent. Income from operations stood at Rs. 129.13 crores against Rs. 180.25 crores in the previous longer period.

The equity dividend has been raised to 20 per cent from 15 per cent for the previous 16 months.

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