Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has reported a 84.7 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 983.85 crore for the year ended March 31, 2005 as compared to Rs 532.75 crore last year. Net sales grew by 36.9 per cent to Rs 13,091.82 crore from Rs 9561.33 crore last year, a release said. Net profit includes Rs 353.32 crore relating to sale of shares in UltraTech Cement Ltd. The board has recommended a final dividend of Rs 17.5 per equity share in addition to a special dividend of Rs 10 per equity share declared in October 2004.
During the year, operating margin improved to 8.7 per cent as compared to 6.8 per cent last year. However, during the fourth quarter of the current fiscal, operating margin dipped to 10.3 per cent from 10.7 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year. AM Naik, CMD, L&T, attributed the decline in margins during the fourth quarter to increasing prices of steel, cement and shipping freight rates. “The company will hence fourth factor these commodities at actual cost while bidding in all future contracts. We will also incorporate price escalation clause in the tender and the decline in margins will be a temporary phenomenon.”