Better product mix helps JSW Steel post profit

Adarsh Gopalakrishnan | Updated on May 16, 2011


Stock dips on worry that global demand will fall

Higher product realisations resulting from an increased proportion of flat products in its product mix enabled JSW Steel to post a 33 per cent growth in consolidated sales and 29 per cent in net profits for the quarter ended March 2011 compared to the same quarter a year ago.

The stock price slipped by 1.5 per cent on concerns that softening global demand for steel and margin pressure from rising input costs would show up in the following quarters.

The company sold 14 per cent steel more during the quarter and pared the amount of semis and long products sold, processing more flat products. The company's standalone realisations averaged 18 per cent higher year-on-year after the sector implemented several price hikes to deal with rising raw material costs.

JSW's aggressive brownfield expansion plans aided the cause of improving its product mix.

The higher proportion of flat product sales aided realisations even as prices didn't keep pace with input costs in general.

The company, which is the least integrated among the top three steel producers, saw consolidated operating margins slip marginally to 17 per cent as raw material costs as a percentage of sales rose by 11 percentage points to 67 per cent.

The infusion of cash and equity from the stake sale to Japanese steel producer JFE Holdings helped the company lower its debt to equity ratio, even as gross debt levels remained largely unchanged at Rs 16,500 crore owing to the company's aggressive domestic expansion plans.

Ispat, in which the company now holds 49.3 per cent, turned a net profit of Rs 70 crore during the quarter ended March 2011. The company also began shipping from iron ore and coal mines in Chile and US respectively.

Published on May 16, 2011

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