Attributable profit after tax rose to R1,191 crore for the quarter, from R914 crore a year earlier. Net sales increased 4% to R10,692 crore.
The company also realised improved sales because of weakness in the Indian rupee, partly offset by lower by-product realisations. Mined metal content output rose 11% to 233,000 tonne in the quarter. Silver production more than doubled to 117,000 tonne, while lead output increased 11% to 32,000 tonne.
Copper cathode production was 92,000 tonne in Q3, 9% higher than the corresponding prior period. However, aluminium production was mostly flat at 62,000 tonne, while zinc production slipped 10% to 171,000 tonne. Associate company Vedanta Aluminium also benefited from improved operational performance and lower foreign exchange losses, Sterlite said in a statement. In the companys electricity generation business, power sales slipped 4% to 1,916 million units.
During the quarter, plant load factor (PLF) was just 31%, as three commissioned units of its 2,400MW Jharsuguda power plant were constrained by continued evacuation limitations imposed after the grid failure in August 2012.
The evacuation capacity has improved with setting up of a shared 1,000 MW Raipur-Wardha transmission line in January 2013, and PLFs for the three commissioned units are expected to be around 50% in Q4.