Leading infrastructure firm Punj Lloyd on Monday reported over 87 per cent plunge in consolidated net profit at Rs 8.77 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, largely due to muted sales growth and higher interest burden.

The company had reported a net profit of Rs 70.35 crore during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Net sales were up 3.68 per cent to Rs 2,775.29 crore (Rs 2,676.81 cr).

Its total expenditure at Rs 2,677.97 crore during the quarter constituted over 96 per cent of its net sales.

Besides, its interest burden rose by 22.24 per cent to Rs 198.29 crore.

The result was also impacted by over 98 per cent decline in its other income, mainly interest on deposits, which stood at Rs 2.78 crore against corresponding quarter’s Rs 194.94 crore.

In a separate statement, Punj Lloyd said it has order backlog of Rs 23,690 crore till today. “The order backlog is the value of unexecuted orders on December 31, 2012 plus new orders received after that date,” it said.

Commenting on the results, company chairman Atul Punj said, “Our order book continues to expand at a healthy rate despite difficult market conditions. Delay in payments from clients and high interest costs have impacted us adversely.”

Noting that there is a gradual change in global sentiment, Punj said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the future.

During the year, Punj Lloyd and its various group companies won several orders including an EPC order of Qatar’s first polysilicon plant (Phase 2) from Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTEC).

Shares of the company closed today at Rs 51.95 apiece on the BSE, up 4.63 per cent from the previous close.

(This article was published on February 11, 2013)
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