Hindustan Paper Rides IPO Boom

Kolkata, April 28 | Updated: Apr 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
Education has always been the forte of Hindustan Paper Corp Ltd (HPC), the government-owned paper major that was created to ensure steady supply of writing paper for school students.

Mr Raji Philip, chairman and managing director of HPC, said the boom in the initial public offer (IPO) market has created an additional demand of 4,000 tonnes of paper as every company making an IPO has to publish a voluminous offer document.

For the current year, HPC is eyeing an overall turnover of over Rs 1,000 crore.

HPC, which operates two large integrated pulp and paper mills at Nagaon and Cachar in Assam and also has a subsidiary Hindustan Newsprint Ltd in Kerala, reported a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs 51 crore on a turnover of Rs 873 crore for 2003-04.

So far we did not create a splash in the market with exports but in the current year we are planning to export 20,000 tonnes of paper which is almost 10 per cent of our production. Exports will be primarily to Saarc countries especially Bangladesh, Mr Philip said.

In 2003-04, HPC achieved a record sales output of 2,04,367 tonnes of writing and printing paper and 1,13,516 tonnes of newsprint, an increase of three per cent on the figure for 2002-03.

HPC said the governments Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, or education for all, has helped the company post record sales in the previous year.

In 2003-04, HPC sold 20,000 tonnes of paper to educational bodies.

Meanwhile, HNL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HPC, will soon set up a 9mw captive power plant. Company officials said that the plant will be commissioned in October 2004 and will go a long way in reducing costs as the unit cost of power in Kerala is high.

HPC, which is up for disinvestment, has found almost all the major paper manufacturers as suitors. According to HPC officials, big names like BILT, JK Industries, West Coast Paper Mills have submitted expressions of interest by the deadline of March 15.