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L&T profit up 4 % to Rs 42 cr

Mumbai, Oct. 29: Larsen & Toubro (L&T) reported a modest 4.3 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 42.18 crore for the second quarter ended September 30 compared with Rs 40.46 crore in the corresponding period of last year.

While profits grew marginally, net sales went up 17.89 per cent from Rs 1,776.12 crore in the second quarter ended September 2001 to Rs 2,094 crore same time this year.

Other income fell from Rs 69.27 crore in July-September 2001 to Rs 51.52 crore in the three months to September 2002.

In an anti-climax of sorts, the L&T board did not take the much-expected decision on how it would respond to the open offer made by Grasim Industries early this month.

The highlight of the quarterly performance was the substantial rise in export turnover from Rs 319 crore to Rs 807 crore.

The results, the company said, have to be considered against the backdrop of the sharp fall in cement prices during the half-year ended September 30.

The company had to set aside higher amounts for contribution to retirement-benefit funds during the period, largely on account of the falling interest rates and the reduction in fund corpus due to VRS initiatives.

Cement demand is expected to grow by about 8-9 per cent in the current year and the prices are expected to display a firmer trend in the second half of the year. Overall, full-year revenues should rise 15 per cent, it said.

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