Worst is over for cement industry: India Cements MD

Chennai: India Cements has reported a net profit of Rs 3.13 crore during the third quarter ended 31 December, 2018, compared with Rs 15.24 crore in the same quarter in the previous year.

Total income improved to Rs 1320.57 crore from Rs 1216.75 crore during the period, while cement sales in Q3 improved by eight per cent to 29.58 lakh tonnes compared to 27.3 lakh tonnes during the year ago period.

In the first nine months ending 31 December, 2018, the company reported a net profit of Rs 25.59 crore compared to Rs 65.35 crore in the same period. Total income in nine months improved to Rs 4,077.58 crore compared to Rs 3,958.40 crore.

Vice-Chairman and MD, India Cements, N Srinivasan, said, “Cement industry always created capacity ahead of demand. For six years, cement industry had nil or little growth in demand with under utilisation of capacity. I think the worst is over for the cement industry. We see demand in south growing at 20 per cent on the back of increasing consumption in private sector housing and infrastructure projects.”

He also stated that he expects performance of India Cements to be substantially better in fourth quatter with further increase capacity utilisation from 76 per cent reported in Q3.

Going forward, Srinivasan was optimistic on the outlook for the cement industry and India Cements with further increase in capacity utilisation, better cement prices and lower cost of production.

He said increasing volume, higher capacity utilisation, better prices and lower variable costs are expected to substantially improve the company’s performance in the fourth quarter and in the coming years.

On the growth strategy of the firm, Srinivasan, said, “Our strategy will be to foucus on the core market – south, which is clocking a robust growth of 20 per cent besides Maharashtra. Our selling cement in other regions will depend on price and realisation.”

He said the company is pursuing its plan to set up a plant in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to penetrate more into the northern and central India markets.

NT Bureau