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Gujarat Ambuja net up 6 pc at Rs 186 cr


Our Bureau

MUMBAI, July 31

THE board of directors of Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd has recommended a dividend of 50 per cent for the year ended June 30, 2001 (40 per cent in the previous year), amounting to 44 per cent payout of net profit for the year.

Better cement price realisation as well as reduction in costs during the year helped Gujarat Ambuja Cements improve its bottomline with a six per cent rise in net profit at Rs 186 crore for the year from Rs 175 crore the previous financial year. Includin g Rs 253 crore extraordinary income, the net profit in the previous year amounted to Rs 428 crore.

The fourth quarter net profit of Rs 77 crore (Rs 20 crore) contributed to over 41 per cent of the company's net profit for the year. Q4 sales rose to Rs 430 crore (Rs 359 crore).

Sales for the year rose four per cent in volume terms, to 6.08 million tonnes (5.85 million tonnes); by value, sales rose 11 per cent, to Rs 1,448 crore (Rs 1,302 crore).

Mr Anil Singhvi, Executive Director, said operating margins improved to 36.5 per cent (35.6 per cent), ``due to continuous emphasis on reducing costs.''

In the current year, the company expects a 15 per cent growth in sales, Mr Singhvi said. The demand for cement in the west and the north, where the company has its presence, is expected to improve.

Operating profit for the year rose over 16 per cent to Rs 463 crore (Rs 397 crore).

Mr Singhvi said power consumption costs had reduced to 86 units per tonne of cement from 89 units per tonne, over the year; coal consumption had reduced from 750 kcal per tonne to 730 kcal/tonne.

Cash profit was higher by around 10 per cent only because of high interest cost of Rs 134 crore (Rs 99 crore). This was due to borrowings made for acquisitions during the year, said company officials.

Depreciation amounted to Rs 129 crore (Rs 123 crore), with profit before tax higher by 14 per cent at Rs 200 crore (Rs 175 crore).

The company has provided for tax at Rs 14 crore.

The company's new Rs 675-crore plant at Chandrapore in Maharashtra is expected to be commissioned by December. With this, the cement capacity of the company, along with that of its subsidiary and associate companies, would go up to about 13 million tonne s.

Related links:
GACL issues 9.8 pc stake to Warburg Pincus for Rs 180 cr
Guj Ambuja: A well-managed show

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