Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Oct 22, 2004
Industry & Economy - Exports & Imports
UltraTech Cement to step up exports
Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, UltraTech Cement, with Mr O.P. Puranmalka, Chief Marketing Officer, at the launch of `UltraTech Cement' the new name for L&T Cement in Mumbai on Thursday. Shashi Ashiwal
Mumbai , Oct. 21
ULTRATECH Cement (the erstwhile cement division of Larsen & Toubro) will increase its cement and clinker exports to 4 million tonnes this financial year, up from 3.5 million tonnes during the previous fiscal, said Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman UltraTech Cement Ltd, at a news briefing here today.
With the firming up of overseas cement prices, cement manufacturers who have facilities along the west coast of the country have been finding exports very profitable.
Exports from UltraTech, which accounted for 40 per cent of all cement export out of India in the last fiscal, would account for between 42 per cent and 45 per cent in this fiscal, according to officials of the company.
Units in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have already shifted to the UltraTech brand, with the rest of the country expected to do so over the next few days, said Mr S. Misra, Chief Executive Officer, UltraTech.
A large advertising re-branding exercise would be launched across 20 to 25 television channels, starting October 25.
The UltraTech brand and the AV Birla group's existing brands under the Grasim Industries' fold will not cannibalise each other's markets since the geographies are largely complementary.
In fact, the channel partners of both brands would have the opportunity to grow together, said Mr O.P. Puranmalka, Group Executive President and Chief Marketing Officer.
A task force, consisting of executives from both UltraTech and Grasim is dealing with bringing together best practices from both the companies.
Together, the companies had 21 per cent of the market share during the first half of the current fiscal.
UltraTech has a capital expenditure plan of Rs 200 crore. Through this efficiencies will be improved, and de-bottlenecking would generate another 2.5 million tonnes of capacity, said Mr Birla. Other plans to cut operational costs include the study of use of alternative fuels, said Mr Misra.
UltraTech's subsidiary Narmada Cement's facilities would also be brought up to 100 per cent capacity utilisation, said Mr Misra.
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