Jaiprakash eyes growth in cement, construction

Jaiprakash eyes growth in cement, construction
Published: 07 June 2010

Diversified Indian firm Jaiprakash Associates plans to invest INR30bn (US$640m) in 2010/11, mostly to add cement capacity in a market growing in double-digits, a top official said on Friday.

"We are very bullish India will continue to see double-digit growth in cement demand. Infrastructure, housing and the rural sector will be the biggest drivers," Rahul Kumar, Jaiprakash’s chief financial officer, told Reuters in an interview.

The New Delhi-based company, which has a cement capacity of 19.1Mt, hopes to raise this to 29 million tonnes by March 2011, he said over telephone.

Jaiprakash will also consider bidding for road projects by the National Highways Authority of India, in addition to two expressways it is building in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Kumar said.

The company, which also has interests in hydropower, construction, real estate and hospitality, has benefited over the past few years from a building boom in road networks and increase in power generation capacity.

Last week, it reported net profit nearly doubled to INR17.1bn in the fiscal year ended March, on the back of a 72 per cent rise in revenues. However, profits were lower in the fourth quarter.