Shree Cement Ltd., whose main market is in north India, expects sales to rise 12-13 per cent in the current year to March, a top company official said on Tuesday, beating the industry average of 8 per cent growth. The company, which aims to more than double its manufacturing capacity to 10Mt by 2010, hopes to raise sales to 3.4Mt this year from 3.02Mt in the previous year, Executive Director MK Singhi said. "We see the demand remaining strong in our market and we will start shipping cement from our newly commissioned plant from this month," he told Reuters.
The company commissioned a 1.2Mt plant in the northwestern state of Rajasthan in November, and is expanding the facility there by another 1Mt by March 2007, he said. Sales in November grew 9 per cent, compared with a year earlier. The firm is
the third-largest cement producer in north India, and is ranked 13 among all across the country.
Its shares, which have doubled in 2005 outpacing a 34 per cent rise in the main BSE index this year, ended 2.1 per cent down at Rs 506 , in line with their peers after November shipments were lower than expected.
Singhi said he expected cement prices to rise in February by five rupees, from about Rs 160 per 50-kg bag now, when construction activity picks up after the winter season. The company is looking at locations to build new plants, he said.