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Ambuja Cement announces big leap in profits

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World Cement,

Ambuja Cement has announced consolidated net profits of INR2.057 billion (US$30.7 million) in 4Q16 – an 85% increase on the same period in 2016. Net profit for the year came in at INR11.21 billion (US$167.4 million), a rise of 27.9% on 2015.

“Our rapid adoption of cashless payment methods in [4Q16} helped Ambuja to deliver strong performance in 2016,” said Ajay Kapur, CEO of Ambuja Cement in a statement. This followed the abrupt withdrawal of high-denomination banknotes by the government in November last year, ostensibly to crack down the use of counterfeit notes to fund illegal activity.

Looking ahead, Kapur said the company was “well placed to be part of the infrastructure development planned by the government and the new thrust on affordable housing projects.”

Indian cement sales were down 2% as the impact of demonetisation and a strong monsoon hit demand in 2H16, offsetting strong sales in the first six months. Volumes were down 9% in 4Q16, mainly as a result of cash shortages in the trade sector.

Ambuja – which is controlled by LafargeHolcim – also completed the acquisition of Holcim India Private Ltd (HIPL) last year, giving the company a controlling shareholding in ACC Ltd.

ACC Ltd’s consolidated pre-tax profit INR400 million (US$5.9 million), according to Ambuja, on the back of reduced raw materials costs and fuel mix optimisation. The company also commissioned two new grinding units in 2H16 in Jharkhand and Chhattisgahr, which are expected to “strengthen the market presence in the eastern region.”

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India cement news LafargeHolcim news