ACC, Ambuja post weak numbers, warn future cement demand will remain sluggish

fe Bureau Posted online: Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 0000 hrs
Mumbai : Cement makers ACC Ltd. and Ambuja Cements Ltd posted weak numbers for the full year ended December 31, 2013 and cautioned of weak cement demand even going forward.

ACC posted a marginal year-on-year increase of 3.3% in its consolidated net profit to Rs 1094 crore, while Ambuja's standalone full year net profit remained unchanged from last year at Rs 1295 crore. Both companies follow January to December financial year. The companies said the net profit was not comparable from last year as last year included an additional depreciation charge and the 2013 yearly numbers include a tax write back.

ACC's EBIDTA (earnings before interest depreciation tax and amortisation) declined by 26% to Rs 1629.97 crore, while for Ambuja, its standalone EBIDTA was slashed by 33.2% to Rs 1,651 crore.

While y-o-y sales turnover of ACC declined a mere 2% to Rs 10,908.41 crore, Ambuja's net sales fell by 6.1% to Rs 9,087 crore, as the sales relaisations remained low. Cement sales volumes remained flat for both ACC and Ambuja and stood at 23.93 million tonnes and 21.60 million tonnes respectively.

"Though sales realisations were lower, the company was able to offset inflationary pressures in the cost of major inputs by managing its operating costs," ACC said in a statement. Ambuja said, "The company has been able to keep its year-on-year production costs flat and would continue to work on improving operational efficiencies and cost optimisation".

The profit before tax of ACC declined by 15.7% sto Rs 1213.64 crore, while Ambuja Cement's profit before tax fell by a sharp 20.4% to Rs 1514 crore.

As for future outlook, both companies forecast a subdued demand due to difficult macro-economic situations.

ACC Ltd's share price closed 1.07% up at Rs 1018.80 on Thursday, on BSE, while Ambuja Cements Ltd's share price closed up 0.48% at Rs 155.80 on Thursday, on BSE.