India’s Grasim Q1 net up 64 pct, beats forecast

India’s Grasim Q1 net up 64 pct, beats forecast
Published: 30 July 2007

India’s Grasim Industries Ltd. on Saturday reported a 64 per cent rise in standalone quarterly net profit, beating forecasts, and said it expected the growth to continue on higher productivity and cost control measures.

Grasim, which along with its units UltraTech Cement Ltd and Shree Digvijay Cement is India’s largest cement producer, said it would spend INR74.25bn (US$1.83bn) over the next three years to boost its cement making capacity to 48Mt, from 31Mt currently.

Indian cement companies are running plants at full capacity to feed the fast expanding economy and producers have pledged to add another 100Mt of capacity by 2009/10 to the existing 177Mta.

Grasim said this could mean a surplus in cement supply by mid-2008/09, but expected a strong growth in demand would mitigate the pressure from additional supply.

"Given the strong growth in demand, the outlook for the cement business continues to be positive," the company said in a statement.

Grasim, part of India’s metals-to-insurance Aditya Birla Group, said its standalone net profit for the April-June quarter rose to INR5.12bn from INR3.12bn a year earlier.