In spite of severe problems in availability and transportation of coal, Associated Cement Companies (ACC) has announced a net profit of Rs. 81.23 crores for the first quarter ended June 2004 against Rs. 44.14 crores in the same period in the previous year. Net sales were higher at Rs. 1,100.57 crores against Rs. 962.31 crores. Total income was up 16 per cent at Rs. 962.47 crores against Rs. 828.71 crores, largely on improved price realisation. The profit before interest, depreciation and tax was Rs. 176.65 crores (Rs. 141.16 crores).Total sale of cement was almost unchanged at 38.85 lakh tonnes (38.52 lakh tonnes).
The modernisation programme at Chaibasa including installation of a 15 MW captive power plant is progressing according to schedule.
The company is also augmenting its grinding capacity at Gagal by 1Mt.
According to the company, the cement industry has posted lower growth of around 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2004-05 as compared to 4.5 per cent in the same period in the previous year. The emphasis in the budget on infrastructure and housing augurs well for the industry as it is expected to do better in the rest of the year.
Also, as no new large capacities are in the pipeline, the demand-supply dynamics of the industry is expected to turn favourable leading to stability in prices.