Aditya Birla Group firm Ultratech Cement today reported a 15.42 per cent rise in net profit in the fourth-quarter as it kept costs under control.
Net profit in January-March rose to Rs 838 crore from Rs 726 crore a year earlier.
“Optimisation of fuel mix and other initiatives helped in maintaining costs almost at the previous year levels,” UltraTech said in a statement to the stock exchanges.
The rise in net profit was also due to higher sales of building material resulting an eight per cent growth in net sales value to Rs 5,832 crore compared to Rs 5,391 crore a year ealier.
Ultratech, which has 53.95 million tonnes (MT) capacity now, sold 12.18 MT grey cement and clinker clocking a nine per cent growth in the corresponding quarter previous fiscal.
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White cement and wall care putty sales also rose to 3.29 lakh tonnes compared to 2.92 lakh tonnes.
Total expenses during the quarter also rose to Rs 4,987 crore from Rs 4,437 crore led mainly by higher consumption of raw material, power and fuel costs and freight charges.
For the full-year 2013-14, Ultratech’s net profit dipped to Rs 2,144 crore from Rs 2,655 crore a year ago. Net sales remained nearly static at Rs 20,023 crore.
The company sold 41.47 MT cement and clinker during the year. White cement and wall care putty sales were at 11.42 LT.
“The year witnessed continuing pressure on input and logistics cosst, given the increase in railway freight and a continuous hike in diesel prices,” Ultratech said.
Although there was some relief on account of softening in the prices of imported coal, the impact was negated by the depreciation in rupee, it said, adding optimisation of fuel mix and other initiatives helped in maintaining costs almost at the previous year’s level.
Ultratech Board, which met today, has recommended 90 per cent dividend aggregating to Rs 246.82 crore.
“The company will absorb the corporate tax on dividend amounting to Rs 41.95 crore, resulting in a total payout of Rs 288.77 crore,” it said
The company would spend around Rs 10,000 crore outlay on ongoing expansions, to be commissioned in a phased manner by 2015. It has used “a judicious mix of internal accruals and borrowings” for funding the projects.
On future outlook, Ultratech said, the long-term cement demand was likely to grow over eight per cent in line with GDP growth.
“The value drivers for growth will continue to be housing demand and infrastructure development,” Ultratech said.