CESC Q4 net at Rs 100 cr; to restart Balagarh

Written by fe Bureau | Kolkata | Updated: Apr 30 2010, 04:57am hrs
CESC Ltd on Thursday posted a net profit of Rs 100 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 compared to Rs 94 crore for the corresponding quarter last fiscal. Net sales for the period were at Rs 770 crore against Rs 754 crore last fiscal. Witnessing an unprecedented surge in demand with peak demand crossing 1,610 mw, the company is aggressively looking at thermal and hydel power projects across India ( Bengal , Maharashtra , Orissa, Bihar , Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh) to add generating capacities which is at 1,225 mw at present.

Sanjiv Goenka, vice-chairman, RPG Group and CESC, said the Board had also recommended that the company should enter the renewable energy space. Conceptually, we have agreed to enter the space, the details are being worked out.

For the year ended March 31, 2010 , CESCs net profit was at Rs 522 crore against Rs 465 crore in the last fiscal; net sales for the fiscal was at Rs 3,351 crore against Rs 3,103 crore in FY09.

Goenka confirmed that the Balagarh power project in Hooghly district was being revived it was first envisioned in 1992 but ran into problems over various factors, including funding. It was mutually decided not to pursue Balagarh, said Goenka, but now I have had a dialogue with the chief minister, the state power minister, the Centre, the regulatory commission and everyone has expressed support for it because they recognize the need to add power capacities in the state.

The 1300 mw project, to come up in two phases, has a project cost of Rs 3,200 crore. If coal linkage issues and environmental clearances come through, we should reach financial closure on Balagarh in 15 months, said Goenka.

Talking about CESC expansion plans, Goenka said the 600 mw Chandrapur project acquired last August is moving ahead following financial closure and most of the project related contracts have been awarded. In Haldia, a 600 mw power project cant reach financial closure because the company is waiting for 40 acres more for the 388 acre project site. Civil work has started, we hope to get the land soon, he added, pointing out that land acquisition is proving to be a big problem in states like Bengal and Jharkhand. It has thermal projects lined up in Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Spencers target: 2 lakh sq ft Goenka said talks to offload stake in Spencers is still on with a private equity player. Certain conditions are not acceptable to us, so we havent yet reached closure, he added, refusing to specify the points of disagreement.

He said after 25-odd stores were closed, Spencers which has 220 stores now will grow to 280 this fiscal, mostly large format stores, and target a retail space of 2 lakh sq ft. The retail business was expected to touch sales of Rs 900 crore for the year just ended and Goenka said he expects sales to be around Rs 1,150 crore by 2011. We expect to start breaking even by the end of the year, said Goenka. He said sales had improved from Rs 640 per sq ft to Rs 825 per sq ft.