ACC Cements New Look For Eternit

New Delhi, June 26: | Updated: Jun 27 2003, 05:30am hrs
ACC Ltds subsidiary company Eternit Everest India is in for a major make over. With ACC raising its stake from 26 per cent to 76 per cent after buying out Belgium-based Etex groups shareholding, Eternit Everest India is being rechristened Everest Industries Limited.

On the cards is a major expansion plan of its manufacturing facilities in east and south India to increase roofing segment production capacity by 50 per cent, from 300,000 tons to 450,000 per annum. Production capacity of E-board (used for false ceiling, panelling, doors, backliners and pre-fabricated structure) is being doubled from 36,000 tons to 72,000 tons per annum for which the company is in the process of selecting a new manufacturing site.

Eternit Everests managing director ML Gupta told FE that the company has also taken up an aggressive marketing strategy to increase the companys market share from the present level of 17 per cent in the fibre cement roofing segment.

The company is looking at greater leveraging of ACC brand equity in the market place, synergising marketing strengths of both the companies and expanding the dealer network from the present 5000 to 6000 dealers.

The companys future growth could be fuelled by E-boards. Though the E-boards currently contribute 15 per cent to the total turnover, we believe that this product will herald the future growth of the company, said Mr Gupta.

The eco-friendly E-Board range, targeted at the interiors segment, is a substitute to reconstituted wood, which includes particle boards, gypsum board and plywood. Unlike wood, it is fire and water-resistant as well as termite and vermin proof.

The infusion of new management and implementation of a new business strategy turned around the company last year, achieving a net profit of Rs 9.51 crore on a turnover of Rs 210 crore and equity capital of Rs 14.80 crore for the period ended March 2003.

For the current financial year, the company is targetting a 25 per cent growth in turnover. Our aim is to double our turnover in the next five years, said Mr Gupta.

The de-bottlenecking of manufacturing processes and improvement in efficiency through automation has raised the production of the company while bringing down costs, resulting in higher profitability.

The companys current product portfolio includes roofing products Everest, Everest Lifeguard, Eternia, E-Board and E-Board Classic.