Atul Daga, director and chief financial officer of UltraTech Cement, told FE’s KS Aditya Rao in an interview that the company expects the bottom line to normalise in the January-March quarter.
By KS Aditya Ra
Atul Daga, director and chief financial officer of UltraTech Cement, told FE’s KS Aditya Rao in an interview that the company expects the bottom line to normalise in the January-March quarter. Excerpts:
The net profit of the December quarter fell 13.7%. What are the factors responsible for this fall despite a 19% increase in net sales and a strong volume growth?
The interest cost increased because of the acquisitions of Binani Cement and prior to that the Jaypee asset, both were funded by debt. Secondly, costs went up 11% y-o-y in the October-December quarter, but realisations did not increase. Things are not great on the financials. However, we expect some softening of prices in the January-March quarter.
Would recent acquisitions have a diluting effect on the earnings in near term?
January-March 2019 will be earnings accretive, the bottom line in the last quarter of the current financial year will also improve.
Would there be any effect of the current liquidity crisis situation on UltraTech Cement’s business operations?
The government and the Reserve Bank of India have done a good job on this front to bring liquidity back into the system. However, sales of UltraTech were not affected by the liquidity crisis. Only if one has to find reasons to hide, the liquidity crisis would be held responsible for the dip in business.
How do you look at the cement industry in next few quarters, keeping in mind that 2019 is going to be an election year?
Not only the cement industry, the entire economy will see the impact of elections. We should be out of it once elections are over. It would be difficult to comment on an any change in strategy or government at the Centre.
Do you have any capacity expansion plans in near term?
We will acquire a 14 MT (million tonne) capacity of Century Cements, which will be completed in April-June 2019.