Hindalcos Q3 Net Down 39% On Weak Aluminium Prices

Mumbai, January 24: | Updated: Jan 25 2003, 05:30am hrs
A loss in metal production, as a result of disruption of power supply in September last year, along with weak aluminium prices, marred the performance of Aditya Birla Group flagship company Hindalco Industries Ltd, which posted a 38.9 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 101.1 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2002 as against Rs 165.5 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Third quarter sales dropped 9.7 per cent to Rs 521.5 crore as against Rs 577.4 crore last year. Hindalco Industries whole time director Askaran Agrawala attributed the performance to production losses and falling prices. He added that almost 614 pots had to be shut because of the blackout. He added that all the pot lines have now been energised.

Mr Agarwala was, however, cautiously optimistic about the prices. He said that although prices will not reach very high levels, they should touch $1,420 to 1,440 at the LME.

Gross profit for the quarter was also lower by 32.85 per cent at Rs 189.9 crore as against gross profit of Rs 282.8 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. Interest cost stood at Rs 13.5 crore as against Rs 13.9 crore in the previous fiscal.

The net profit for nine months ended December 2002, stood at Rs 366.4 crore, a drop of 25.8 per cent over Rs 493.8 crore in same period of previous fiscal. Sales for the nine months were down marginally to Rs 1,677.2 crore as against Rs 1,683.7 crore in the previous fiscal.

Metal production in third quarter stood at 60,470 metric tonne as against 66,894 tonne last year, while metal production for the period stood at 1,91,002 tonne as against 1,90,809 tonne last year.

The rise in input costs can be gauged by the extent of increase in total expenditure of the company in the third quarter, which stood at Rs 363.3 crore, higher by 8 per cent compared to the previous years figure of Rs 335 crore.

The company said that Hindalco raised a debt of Rs 150 crore in November 2002 for general corporate purposes by issuing secured non-convertible debentures of seven years maturity at 6.40 per cent. The debentures carry put/call options after five years.

It further said that Hindalco would make a final offer to acquire the remaining equity shares of Indian Aluminium Company Ltd (Indal), on or before February 12, 2003, as per Sebis takeover regulations prior to delisting the scrip from stock exchanges.

During the previous open offer, which closed on November 12 last, Hindalcos shareholding rose to 94.91 per cent.

The merger of the copper business of Indo Gulf Corporation with the company was expected to be complete within the next couple of months. Hindalco is also expecting annualised savings to the tune of Rs 40-50 crore on completion of project rocket 2K.