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West Coast Paper to pay 85% dividend

Our Bureau

Kolkata, Aug. 1

THE West Coast Paper Mills Ltd (WCPML) of the S.K. Bangur group has declared a dividend of 85 per cent per Rs 10 share for the fiscal 2002-03 against 65 per cent in the previous year. The percentage of dividend payout is claimed to the highest in the paper industry.

This week the company announced the audited results for the year ended March 2003 and also the unaudited results for the first quarter ended June 2003. The company earned a net profit of about Rs 36 crore on a net sales of about Rs 396 crore for the year ended March, while it posted a net profit of Rs 9.47 crore on a net sales of about Rs 98 crore during the first quarter of the current fiscal. While the annualised ESP is at Rs 42 per share, the company's export of paper and paper board was 3,546 tonnes in the first quarter against 1,325 tonnes during the corresponding quarter last year.

According to the WCPML source, the company expects to save Rs 3 crore per annum by way of lower fuel consumption following the commissioning of a 135-tonne per day capacity rotary lime kiln plant in May 2003. A 14.5 MW capacity captive power plant will be commissioned shortly at its mill in Karnataka, which will make the company self-reliant on the power front, apart from reducing power cost by Rs 8 crore per annum.

The company has spent Rs 233 crore on modernisation and Rs 259 crore on expansion programme.

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