Grasim Industries, owner of UltraTech Cement, reported a drop of almost 40% in net profit for the December quarter. High costs across its business areas of viscose staple fibre, cement and chemicals led to the decline from Rs.549 crore in the December quarter 2012 to Rs.332 crore in the same period of 2013. Though sales improved by 5% over the quarter, total expenses rose by 9.4%.
Combined cement and clinker sales were slightly up at 10.76 million t, though sales remained flat at Rs.5172 crore. The company’s new grinding unit in Jharsuguda began commissioning in October 2013, bringing the company’s total annual capacity to 55.5 million t. This is set to increase to 70 million t once all projects currently underway are completed and with the acquisition of Jaypee Cement Corp.’s Gujarat cement plant. The company is expecting the performance of the cement industry to improve after India’s general elections.
Edited from various sources by Katherine Guenioui
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