Infrastructure firm Punj Lloyd today posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 13.37 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, on the back of increased interest payments and rise in tax outgo.

The company, which is into engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) space, had reported a net loss of Rs 12.25 crore during the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

Net sales, however, was up 20.40 per cent to Rs 2,706.82 crore during the quarter against Rs 2,248.31 crore in the April-June period last fiscal year, it said in a filing to the BSE.

During the quarter, Punj Lloyd’s total expenditure was at Rs 2,581.67 crore. Besides, its finance charges increased by over 39 per cent to Rs 182.82 crore in April-June period, while its tax outgo was up 40 per cent to Rs 30.24 crore.

“We are seized of our high cost of borrowings and are intensely exploring opportunities to align our debt and revenue profile. This will both reduce our interest costs and minimise exchange rate risk,” company Chairman Atul Punj said in a separate statement.

He added that there is a gradual improvement in global macro environment though it continues to be challenging.

“Large capex spends are being embarked upon by oil and gas majors, and we expect volume of work to increase in West Asia. The pace of execution too has been encouraging,” he said.

Talking about Libya, where the company has assets worth Rs 593.05 crore and has been going through civil and political unrest in recent times, Punj said: “The developments in Libya, after the elections, have been positive, and we are happy to commence work of our upstream operations.”

As on today, Punj Lloyd has an order book of Rs 26,206 crore.

Shares of the company today closed at Rs 53.60 apiece on the BSE, up 1.13 per cent from the previous close.

(This article was published on August 7, 2012)
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