Despite a 20 per cent increase in power and fuel cost and only a marginal increase in realisation per tonne of cement, Madras Cements Ltd has posted a 67 per cent increase in net profit and a 6.5 per cent increase in sales for the year ended March 31, 2005. It reported a net profit of Rs 55.92 crore on sales of Rs 739.97 crore in 2004-05 against a net profit of Rs 33.40 crore on sales of Rs 694.60 crore in the previous year. The board of directors has recommended a final dividend of Rs 4 a share (40 per cent), taking the total dividend for the year to Rs 10 a share (100 per cent).
The company has attributed its performance to tight fiscal management, which resulted in interest cost for the year coming down by 27.6 per cent to Rs 35.89 crore from Rs 49.60 crore in the previous year. This was in spite of a Rs 42-crore increase in its debts during the year (from Rs 427 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 469 crore in 2004-05).In the fourth quarter of the year, the company reported a net profit of Rs 22.92 crore on sales of Rs 208.13 crore against a net profit of Rs 10.38 crore on sales of Rs 191.52 crore in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.