Lower realisations on the back of sluggish market conditions halved cement-maker ACC Ltd's consolidated net profit for the July-September quarter (Q3) at Rs 118.90 crore.
The company, in which Swiss building material major Holcim has the majority stake, had clocked Rs 241.96 crore net profit in the corresponding quarter last fiscal, it said in a statement.
"Operating EBITDA in the third quarter declined to Rs 286.56 crore against Rs 466.07 crore in the corresponding quarter of the preceding year. Reduced profitability during the quarter is attributed to sluggish market conditions and lower realisations," it said.
ACC Ltd follows January-December accounting year.
Sales turnover of the company also fell to Rs 2,508.65 crore during the reporting quarter compared to Rs 2,542.37 crore a year ago.
The company sold 5.54 million tonnes cement during the quarter compared to Rs 5.40 million tonnes a year ago.
"Overall, the macro-environment continued to be dull and characterised by slow industrial and agricultural growth, rising prices and volatile foreign exchange rates.
"There were increases in the prices of diesel, coal and railway freight which could be countered partly through the company's ongoing initiatives to achieve improvements in operations, sales and logistics," ACC Ltd said.
Total expenses of the company gone up to Rs 2,430.22 crore from Rs 2,263.70 crore a year ago, mainly because of higher power and transportation costs.
Power and fuel costs of the company rose to Rs 558.47 crore during the quarter from Rs 570.54 crore last year. Transportation costs went up to Rs 504.70 crore from Rs 490.34 crore a year ago.
ACC Ltd hopes gradual but slow improvement in demand for cement as a result of extended monsoon which was likely to have a favourable impact on the agricultural sector in the coming months.