UltraTech Cement, an Aditya Birla group company, said net profit in the June quarter was down seven per cent at Rs 1,584 crore against Rs 1,703 crore logged in the same period last year, due largely to lower realisation and higher cost.

Revenue from operations increased 28 per cent to Rs 15,164 crore (Rs 11,830 crore). The sales volume jumped 16 per cent to 25 million tonnes.

Overall expenses were up at Rs 12,980 crore (Rs 9,508 crore) with power and freight costs increasing to Rs 4,013 crore (Rs 2,427 crore) and Rs 3,291 crore (Rs 2,648 crore), respectively. Earnings before interest, depreciation and tax was down 9 per cent at Rs 3,204 crore (Rs 3,512 crore). Blended pet coke prices increased 82 per cent to $184 a tonne, pushing up overall energy costs.

Cement demand was impacted by inflationary trends and lower labour availability in May. However, demand picked up in June on pre-monsoon construction activity.

UltraTech achieved capacity utilisation of 83 per cent against 73 per cent registered in the same period last year.

The company commissioned a 18 MW Waste Heat Recovery System in the quarter, and enhanced the total WHRS capacity to 185 MW, covering nearly 16 per cent of its current power needs. This is expected to increase to 250 MW by the end of FY23, it said.

The company will commission 1.3 mtpa of cement capacity in the September quarter and another 9.6 mtpa and 5.8 mpta in two consecutive quarters. This will take the overall capacity to 131 mtpa by the end of this fiscal.

In the second phase, it will add 22.6 mpta with an investment of 12,886 crore. It plans to have an overall capacity of 159.25 mtpa, reinforcing its position as the third largest cement company in the world outside China.

The company expects cement demand to see an upswing in demand in this fiscal aided by strong momentum in housing and the government’s thrust on infrastructure and industrial development. However, it said headwinds arising out of rising cost pressures will put some pressure on profitability.

Shares of the company were up 5 per cent at Rs 6,439 on Friday.