Tisco sees a massive 73 pc fall in Q3 profit

Mumbai, January 24: | Updated: Jan 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Tata Iron and Steel Company (Tisco), the largest private sector domestic steel company, has reported a massive 73 per cent fall in net profit at a paltry Rs 34.5 crore during the third quarter ended December 31, 01 over Rs 127.69 crore reported during the same quarter previous fiscal, despite a marginal 1.8 per cent increase in other incomes at Rs 16.02 crore.

Vice-president, finance, RC Nandrajog said Tisco offloaded its equity investments in ICICI, HDFC, Hightec Drilling, among other obsolete assets during the third quarter as part of the companys efforts to rationalise its investment portfolios.

Net sales inched up by a meagre 1.8 per cent at Rs 1,902.21 crore as against Rs 1,868.17 crore registered during the same period last fiscal.

Mr Nandrajog said the impact of pricing was so severe that the margins for the nine-months period was just about Rs 930 crore as against Rs 1,157 crore for the same period last fiscal.

During the nine-month period of 01-02 too, net profit was down at Rs 82.43 crore compared to Rs 344.43 crore in last Q3. Net sales for the nine-months rose marginally to Rs 5,446.55 crore over Rs 5,405.94 crore last year.

Steel production stood at 9.43 lakh tonne during this Q3 over 8.38 lakh tonne in Q3 last, with a production of 2.6 million tonne as against 2.54 million.

Mr Nandrajog also said Tisco was currently running its cold-rolled plant at 65 per cent capacity, which could be ramped up to 100 per cent as soon as the demand picked up. He also expressed the hope that Tisco would be able to produce at least 1 million tonne more by end of this fiscal.

On the ongoing cost-cutting drive, he said it would continue and that a further reduction of 3 per cent was on the anvil. However, he admitted that in spite of the cost cutting measures, the total outgo rose to Rs 1,589.35 crore during the Q3 over Rs 1,450.10 crore in Q3 last. The staff cost alone was higher at Rs 261.19 crore (Rs 256 crore), and the cost on power was up at Rs 176.98 crore (Rs 151.49 crore) against the same last fiscal, he said.

The export front was also equally dismal with a 10 per cent growth (of the total sales) during the Q3 this fiscal over the 15 per cent last fiscal. Though cold-rolled sales was 25 per cent of total sales, in terms of tonnage it was only 21 per cent.