SAIL net up at Rs 1,123 cr in Q1

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Our Bureau

New Delhi, July 28

STEEL Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has recorded a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs 1,701 crore for the first quarter, recording a 41 per cent growth over the corresponding period last year.

However, the company's profit after tax (PAT) stood at Rs 1,123 crore, which is only marginally higher compared to the corresponding figure of the previous financial year.

This, according to the company, was because of significantly higher tax outgo during the quarter, which soared to a level of Rs 578 crore against Rs 94 crore during the corresponding period last year. The tax outgo is higher this year, because till last year the public sector steel major was under the ambit of minimum alternative tax (MAT) due to the brought forward losses and unabsorbed depreciation. Having wiped out all the accumulated losses, SAIL has now come under the fold of regular corporate tax.

During the quarter, the public sector steel major reduced its interest charges by around Rs 57 crore; achieving a reduction of 30 per cent more over the corresponding quarter last fiscal.

Commenting on the company's financial results, Mr V.S. Jain, Chairman, SAIL, said, "SAIL has acquired the competence and the strength to withstand downturn as steel industry is cyclical in nature. The company has assumed the right ambience to encash future growth potential, particularly in areas of infrastructure development."

The production of saleable steel during the first quarter reached at 2.76 million tonnes, marking a growth of 19 per cent on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

Hot metal production increased by 22 per cent to 3.3 million tonnesand finished steel output stood at 2.2 million tonnes recording a growth of 13 per cent, according to a company release.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 29, 2005)
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