Indian cement major ACC is bullish on the growth prospects of the industry. It expects the industry “ to see higher growth in the year (april 2004-March 2005) due to increased emphasis on infrastructure development.” In its outlook statement issued soon after the results were announced the management has stated that with no new capacity addition in the pipeline, the demand – supply gap should narrow down and result in stable and remunerative cement prices. The outlook reflects the general buoyancy forecast for the country.
The Cement industry recorded growth rate of 5.5 per cent for 2003-04 compared to 8.5 per cent in the year ended March 2003. However, the Company has posted a higher growth as compared to the industry despite poor availability of wagons and trucks for transport of cement, clinker and coal in the second half of the year.
ACC has posted a 80 per cent growth in profit after tax for Q4 ( Jan- March 04) at Rs 1059 million as against Rs.587 million reported in the corresponding period of the earlier year. The quantity of cement sold at 4.4 million tonnes also mirrored a double digit growth of 11 per cent during the quarter.
The annual profit after tax for the year ending March 31, 2004 stood at Rs.2 bn nearly 100 per cent more than Rs.1.04 bn reported in 2002-03.Total Income was higher at Rs 34 bn reflecting a 16 per cent rise.
The profits declared by ACC are in line with the overall improvement witnessed in the Indian industry. The results of Prism cement and Gujarat Ambuja Cement declared last fortnight were also impressive.