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Ramco Industries to set up Rs 17-cr fibre cement sheet unit in Kutch — Net profit up 30 pc; to pay 75 pc final

Our Bureau

Chennai , June 17

RAMCO Industries Ltd plans to set up a fibre cement sheet plant in Kutch district, Gujarat at an investment of Rs 17 crore. This plant, with a capacity of 72,000 tonnes a year, will be commissioned before the end of this financial year, according to Mr S.A. Bhima Raja, President, Ramco Industries.

The company will also commission, during the year, a fibre cement sheet plant of 72,000 tonnes capacity in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. This plant will also cost Rs 17 crore. The investment in these two plants will be funded through internal accruals and debt, according to him.

Once these two plants are commissioned, the company's asbestos fibre cement sheet capacity will go up to 4.77 lakh tonnes from the present 3.33 lakh tonnes, he said.

During 2003-04, Ramco Industries completed work on a calcium silicate boards plant at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu with a capacity of 40,000 tonnes. The products, meant to be a substitute for wood panels, will be launched in the market in the next few months. The calcium silicate board plant has been set up with technical help from A&A Material Corporation of Japan, which has also supplied some machinery. The investment in this plant was Rs 15 crore.

Mr Bhima Raja said there was a possibility of the Japanese company selling calcium silicate boards sourced from Ramco Industries in markets such as Singapore.

With the commissioning of the calcium silicate board production plant, the segment comprising fibre cement and calcium silicate products has been restyled as "building products division". Ramco Industries hopes to build this division and is also exploring the possibility of getting into the manufacture of colour-coated steel.

Ramco Industries registered a profit after tax of Rs 24.19 crore (Rs 18.60 crore) in 2003-04, higher by 30.05 per cent in relation to the previous year's profit. Ramco's board recommended a final dividend of 75 per cent on equity shares (face value of Rs 10), including the interim dividend of 25 per cent that was paid in December 2003.

The company's net sales grew by 3.23 per cent to Rs 155 crore (Rs 150 crore) in 2003-04. Its other income that included dividend, royalty, licence fee and wind power generation stood at Rs 18.04 crore (Rs 3.81 crore).

The sales of Ramco's main product, fibre cement sheet, in 2003-04 stood at 2,40,473 tonnes (2,33,639 tonnes). During the year, the company commissioned a new fibre cement sheet plant with a capacity of 72,000 tonnes a year in Kharagpur, West Bengal.

The company registered a profit after tax of Rs 4.47 crore (Rs 3.85 crore) on net sales of Rs 40.82 crore (Rs 37.17 crore) in the fourth quarter of 2003-04.

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