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Everest on growth path; plans fresh investments

R.Y. Narayanan

Coimbatore , Oct. 15

THE acquisition of the stake of Etex Group, Belgium, in Everest Industries Ltd (EIL) by ACC seems to have had a profound influence on the fortunes of the company, which has turned the corner and is now making fresh investments to boost production.

It is also looking at opportunities for making investments in green field projects so as to enlarge its market share and market studies are on for identifying potential areas for putting up factories. Speaking to Business Line in Coimbatore, Mr Manish Sanghi, Executive Director (Marketing), EIL, New Delhi, said ACC, which earlier had a 26-per cent stake in the company, acquired 50 per cent stake of its joint venture partner Etex Group of Belgium early last year .

Asked about the impact of the change in management control of EIL on its fortunes, he said the big difference was `flexibility'.

The company took its own marketing decisions now and has become `far more assertive and quick in the market place'. Earlier it was a `little confused' in the market place and did not know where to go. It was now focussed on what it wanted to achieve and it wanted growth. Of course, the brand value of ACC helped immensely in creating trust.

Replying to a question as to whether all this has reflected in the financial performance of the company, the EIL Executive Director said the company made losses at operational level in 1999, just broke even in 2000 and lost money in 2001. But after ACC's takeover, in the last year in a 15 month period, the company's turnover increased to nearly Rs 208 crore from Rs 136 crore; it made an operational profit of Rs 15 crore and a net profit of nearly Rs 9 crore.

The stock market too has taken cognisance of these changes with the EIL share price zooming from around Rs 20 to Rs 87.35 .

Mr Manish Sanghi said the company would be investing about Rs 10 crore in augmenting the capacity of its plant in Coimbatore from 6,000 tonnes per month to 14,000 tonnes a month and modifications of the old plant here also are being taken up. The overall annual production capacity of the company would increase to nearly 4 lakh tonnes (both roofing and boards) from the existing 3.08 lakh tonnes.

EIL has factories in Kymore (Madya Pradesh), Kolkata, Nashik and Coimbatore.

He expected the industry to grow by at least 15 per cent during the current year and EIL may show a growth of at least 20 per cent.

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