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SAIL Q2 net zooms to Rs 1,513 cr

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Mr V.S. Jain.

New Delhi , Oct. 29

SAIL has reported a net profit of Rs 1,513.15 crore on a total income of Rs 6,789.42 crore during the second quarter of the current fiscal. The steel major had reported a net profit of Rs 505.16 crore on a total income of Rs 5,116.25 crore in the same quarter last year.

For the six-month period ended September 30, the company has reported a 245 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 2,624.74 crore from Rs 759.85 crore earlier.

Total income in the first half stood at Rs 12,116.46 crore (Rs 9,394.92 crore).

Speaking to newspersons on Friday, the SAIL Chairman, Mr V.S. Jain, said that the first-half net profit surpassed the all-time high figure of Rs 2,512 crore recorded during the previous fiscal.

Company officials said that the thrust on production of value-added items during the April-September period led to a volume increase of 21 per cent in plates, high-value wheels and axles (44 per cent), heavy structurals (42 per cent), medium structurals (eight per cent), bars and rounds (eight per cent), and rails by two per cent over the corresponding previous period.

As a result of higher earnings from sales, the company has also achieved substantial topline gains.

Sales turnover in the first half increased by 25 per cent over the same period previous year to Rs 13,026 crore.

Domestic sales at 4.38 million tonnes were was about 2.4 per cent higher.

SAIL also restricted exports by more than 72 per cent to 1.74 lakh tonnes during the period, thereby showing more commitment to supply to the domestic market, Mr Jain said.

The company also reduced debt by about Rs 1,783 crore during the first half.

The debt level, which stood at Rs 8,689 crore at the end of March this year, came down to Rs 6,906 crore as on September 30, which enabled SAIL to improve debt-equity ratio to 0.94:1 from 1.86:1 as on April 1 this year. For the period ended September, interest outgo was also reduced by Rs 231 crore from the corresponding previous period.

Commenting on the continuing trend of profitability, Mr Jain said that though the company was "comfortable," it was not "complacent" about its future.

It also has several major projects costing more than Rs 1,000 crore in various stages of implementation in all its plants.

These include installation of a bloom caster at an estimated cost of Rs 271 crore at the Durgapur and Rs 118-crore capital repairs of blast furnace (No. 4) at Rourkela.

Mr Jain said that he was "upbeat" about the market remaining firm on the prices front in the future.

On whether the company would be able to live up to its profit projections, he merely said: "There is no reason why we should not be able to maintain or improve our performance."

On the issue of internal accruals, the SAIL Chairman said that it was quite satisfying, with the company expecting to spend about Rs 25,000 crore in the next 7-8 years and having internal accruals of about Rs 6,000 crore.

Interim dividend likely

Mr Jain also hinted that the company may look into the possibility of declaring an interim dividend during the current fiscal.

"I am very sure that the board will consider the issue of an interim dividend at an appropriate time," he said, adding that the company had not only reported a profit in the first quarter but financially had done even better during the second quarter.

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