The AV Birla group company - UltraTech Cement Ltd has posted a net loss of Rs 2.3 crore for the quarter ended September 2004. Net sales for the quarter was reported at Rs 587.8 crore. The company has provided an interest of Rs 26.9 crore as interest and depreciation of Rs 64.9 crore (including Rs 18.3 crore on account of depreciation of previous years), according to a company statement. The company’s aggregate sales volumes rose 2.2% at 33.44 lakh mt. The company’s domestic market share stood at 9.65%. Exports during the quarter grew by 22% helped by the profitable regional opportunity driven by improved demand from the Middle-East. The company expects to grow its exports in the next fiscal as well. The company added that domestic cement realisation has been bettered by 20%. Export realisation has also recorded an increase of 34%. The capacity utilisation at its plants was sustained at 80% during the quarter.
The company said that its performance was constrained on account of input costs, mainly power and fuel. The company’s Gujarat plant saw rising operational costs as naphtha prices, along with imported coal (80% up), were substantially higher. The company has already launched UltraTech Cement in the south and Mumbai. The company said that the launches across the country are expected to be completed by December 2004. Ultratech’s outlook for the full year is positive. While surplus supply situation in the markets are likely to continue during the next fiscal, putting pressure on cement prices, the company’s thrust would be to bring down cost of sales, the company said.