Our Bureau

Chennai, July 24

Ponni Sugars (Erode) Ltd has reported a four-fold jump in net profit of Rs 2.40 crore on net sales of Rs 32.25 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2006. During the corresponding quarter in the previous year, the company reported a net profit of Rs 57 lakh on net sales of Rs 21.19 crore.

The company's performance during the quarter has been buoyant as the quantity of sugarcane crushed and sugar production more than doubled over the corresponding period in the previous year. Cane crushed was 1.39 lakh tonnes (64,266 tonnes); sugar produced 13,660 tonnes (6,076 tonnes).

Addressing the company's annual general meeting last week, its Chairman, Mr N. Gopala Ratnam, said that the company is on a strong financial platform and will be able to launch its growth plans.

It has initiated steps for setting up a greenfield sugar mill with cogeneration and ethanol facilities. Cogeneration at the Erode mills is also being considered, apart from an ongoing Rs 10 crore modernisation plan.

It may be recalled that the company took on a debt of Rs 40 crore, when it demerged from its operations in Orissa, which were loss making. Mr Gopala Ratnam said that the debt servicing was contracted on a conservative note to stretch over 12 years. But the company has been able to meet the debt commitments in half that timeframe due to its buoyant performance.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 25, 2006)
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