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Friday, Jan 31, 2003

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Corporate - Financial Performance

Gujarat Ambuja net up 12 pc

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, Jan. 30

GUJARAT Ambuja Cements has announced a 12 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit at Rs 56.46 crore, up from Rs 50.44 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2002; this is contrary to market expectations which apprehended little improvement in bottomline given the prevailing low cement prices.

However, the company has reported a 24 per cent fall in net profit, to Rs 74.11 crore from Rs 97.77 crore, for the half-year ended December 31, 2002.

With respect to the company' second quarter performance, a 28 per cent increase in cement volume sales as well as high productivity and cost reduction helped the company improve its net profit, said the company in a news release.

Volume sales were at 23.02 lakh tonnes (18.02 lakh tonnes) resulting in a 22 per cent increase in turnover for the quarter, at Rs 486.98 crore (Rs 399.19 crore).

Operating profit amounted to Rs 135.62 crore (Rs. 121.05 crore); interest was almost unchanged, at Rs 26.11 crore.

Its subsidiary Gujarat Ambuja Eastern Ltd made a net profit of Rs 7.46 crore during the quarter as against a loss of Rs 5.39 crore drawn up during the second quarter of the previous financial year. However, turnover decreased marginally at Rs 86.8 crore.

Ambuja Cement Rajasthan Ltd brought down losses to Rs 1.08 crore from Rs 10.36 crore.

For the six months ended December 31, 2002, Gujarat Ambuja has reported a 24.6 per cent increase in turnover at Rs 921 crore, selling 44.41 lakh tonnes (32.6 lakh tonnes). Expenditure was proportionately higher at Rs 710 crore (Rs 517 crore), driving down operating profit, which is at Rs 225 crore (Rs 235 crore).

The company presented an optimistic view for the subsequent quarters of its financial year (July to June): ``The demand for cement in the country continues to grow very well and for the 12 months ending December 2002, cement despatches were 109.26 million tonnes as against 98.49 million tonnes, an increase of 11 per cent,'' said the company quoting Mr Anil Singhvi, Director.

``With the road construction programme now at full speed and continued good demand for housing, it is expected that demand for cement would continue to be very good.''

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