Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd (GACL) has posted a 106 per cent rise in net profit for the third quarter ended 31 March 2004 at Rs 145.23 crore as against Rs 70.63 crore posted in third quarter of the previous fiscal. Turnover for the reporting quarter was up by 18 per cent at Rs 559.10 crore from Rs. 472.11 crore in the previous fiscal. Attributing the good performance to continuous cost reductions, high productivity and good prices, the company said its operating margin has gone up to 39 per cent from 31 per cent. The board has proposed to pay an interim dividend of 50 per cent for the financial year ending June 2004 on the fully diluted equity share capital of Rs 176.55 crore, post conversion of the foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) into equity shares. For the Gujarat Ambuja Group, consolidated net profit has risen by 104 per cent during the third quarter ended 31 March 2004. The consolidated net profit was at Rs.
161 crore as against Rs 79 crore posted in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal while consolidated sales for the reporting quarter were up by 18 per cent at Rs 767 crore as compared to Rs 650 crore during the previous fiscal, the company said in a release here. Associate company Ambuja Cement Rajasthan posted a net profit of Rs 14.32 crore during the quarter ended 31 March 2004 as against a loss of Rs 6.17 crore in the previous fiscal. Turnover in the third quarter was up at Rs 91.98 crore as compared to Rs 68.06 crore in the previous fiscal, it said adding, the company sold 3.94 lakh tonne of cement as against 4.18 lakh tonne of cement in the previous year. Another subsidiary, Ambuja Cement Eastern posted a lower net profit of Rs. 16.14 crore during the reporting quarter as against Rs 20.02 crore in the previous fiscal on account of provision for deferred tax of Rs 9.76 crore. The company said the cement demand, which started picking up from December 2003, has been growing during the last few months and is expected to accelerate in the coming years due to good growth in the economy.