Mony K. Mathew

Thiruvananthapuram, July 5

THERE had been an improvement in the overall profitability of public sector units under the Kerala Industries Department in 2004-05, according to provisional estimates.

In all, 13 units made profits totalling Rs 74.19 crore during the year against a combined profit of Rs 69.06 crore accounted for by 14 units in the previous year.

According to officials in the department, 33 units incurred losses of Rs 128.81 crore, which, however, was lower than the total loss of Rs 147.87 crore in 2003-04.

Among the profit-making units, Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) topped the list with a profit of Rs 44.48 crore. Though the company continues to head the group of profitable PSUs under the department, there has been a steady decline in its profitability over the last four years.

KMML made a profit of Rs 100.26 crore in 2001-02, which came down to Rs 94.03 crore in the following year and Rs 46.48 crore in 2003-04. The officials attributed the fall in profits to the increase in the cost of production and stiff competition.

The public sector titanium dioxide pigment manufacturer Travancore Titanium Products Ltd's profitability has been on the rise in the last couple of years.According to the provisional estimates, the company made a profit of Rs 4.82 crore in 2004-05, which was a marked improvement over Rs 1.18 crore in the previous year and Rs 8.62 lakh in 2002-03.

While the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) made a profit of Rs 13.33 crore in 2004-05, the Kerala State Industrial Enterprises earned a profit of Rs 4 crore.

The loss-making Steel Complex Ltd entered the list with a nominal profit of Rs 25 lakh. This was on account of other income of Rs 5.35 crore, the officials said.

Malabar Cements Ltd slipped back to a loss of Rs 4.71 crore in 2004-05 from a profit of Rs 1.76 crore in the previous year. The profit was booked after the company incurred a loss of Rs 11.51 crore in 2002-03.

Thirteen units under the department had been referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) over the years. Out of them, four units Keltron Power Devices, Keltron Rectifiers, Keltron Counters and Trivandrum Spinning Mills were ordered to be closed down by BIFR.

Another four units Kerala Automobiles, Steel and Industrial Forgings, Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd and Keltron Electro Ceramics Ltd subsequently came out of the purview of BIFR.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 6, 2005)
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