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Holcim firms fail to cheer

Mumbai, Oct. 18: Two Holcim Group companies — ACC Ltd and Ambuja Cement — today reported higher profits for the quarter ended September 30, but disappointed the Street as the numbers came below analyst estimates.

ACC Ltd’s net profit grew 52 per cent to Rs 241.96 crore during the quarter compared with Rs 159.29 crore in the corresponding period of last financial year, lower than projections of a profit of around Rs 270 crore.

Ambuja Cement registered a 77 per cent jump in profit at Rs 304 crore against Rs 171 crore in the July-September quarter of 2011, below analyst expectations of around Rs 330 crore profit.

ACC’s consolidated sales turnover stood at Rs 2,555.90 crore against Rs 2,284 crore last year. The company said sales volume was depressed against a backdrop of weak demand from the construction sector and a prolonged monsoon season when sales take a hit.

According to ACC, road transport and other input cost rose because of the steep increase in diesel price. The company expects demand for cement to gain pace after the monsoon season.

Ambuja Cement’s topline grew 20 per cent to Rs 2,168 crore.

The company said during the period, production increased 1.3 per cent over the previous period to 4.71 million tonnes. Despatches also rose by the same margin.

According to Ambuja, the 77-per-cent jump in net profit came on the back of higher net sales and improved operational efficiencies.

The quarterly results of the two Holcim Group firms came at a time of concerns in the market relating to the payment of royalties to their parent.

While the shares of ACC ended lower by Rs 7.60 at Rs 1420.05, Ambuja Cement shares rose marginally to end at Rs 203.60.

 
 
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