Monday, July 21, 2008

SAIL's Q1 net profit up 20.3%

MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) - Steel Authority of India Ltd. said its first-quarter net profit rose 20.3 percent, driven by higher sales volumes, increased production and higher interest earnings.

The country's second-largest steelmaker said its net profit rose to 18.35 billion rupees ($430 million) in the three months to end-June from 15.25 billion

rupees, while total revenues rose to 114.22 billion rupees from 83.46 billion rupees in the previous year.

Interest income earned amounted to 390 billion rupees against 287 billion last year.

The company said it had to incur a burden of 14.34 billion rupees on account of the substantially higher cost of inputs such as coal, freight, ferro-alloys and fuels, as well as due to a provision for higher wage revisions and maintenance of a constant price line from May to June.

SAIL added its plants produced about 1 million tonnes of steel products during the first quarter, an increase of 41 percent over last year.

'Our... thrust on the production of value-added and special quality steels, higher production with still better capacity utilisation and continual improvement in operational efficiencies has helped the company to offset cost pressures and improve profitability, in spite of holding the price line,' said chairman SK Roongta.