Our Bureau

Kolkata Jan. 19

MAGMA Leasing has achieved disbursements of Rs 276.47 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2004 against the Rs 224.47 crore business done during the corresponding quarter of last fiscal, registering an increase of 23 per cent.

Total disbursals for the 9-month period has touched Rs 854.93 crore, against the Rs 867 crore achieved during the whole of 2003-04. Despite a lean third quarter, the company is confident of achieving the targeted business of Rs 1,352 crore for 2004-05.

Owing to pressure on margins despite topline growth, the gross income for the period under review has dipped to Rs 20.26 crore from Rs 22.46 crore for the same period of last financial year. This has also impacted the profit after tax at Rs 3.25 crore (Rs 7.65 crore).

Briefing newspersons here on Wednesday, Mr Sanjay Chamria, Managing Director, said the drop in earnings during the lean third quarter could largely be attributed to the increasing competition (he described it as a virtual blood-bath) in the financial services sector.

He said interest rates had softened quarter on quarter making things difficult.

Mr Chamria said even as operating costs have gone up by 49 per cent (with employee costs alone accounting for nearly 60 per cent of this), the company has been able to reduce its interest and financial charges by 11 per cent despite growth in business.

He also informed that the mandatory open offer made by the promoters of the company (the Chamria-Poddar combine) to minority shareholders had been concluded, and that only 1,200 shares were tendered in the open offer. And with this, the promoters' holding has gone up to 83.15 per cent.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 20, 2005)
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