The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SAIL moves closer to profit

Calcutta, March 12: Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is inching forward to turn the corner in the next financial year thanks to the operational efficiency backed by buoyant market conditions.

A senior SAIL executive said the company would be able to cross the 10 million-tonne mark in production during the current financial year making an all time record.

“SAIL plants, on an average, are now operating at nearly 100 per cent capacity and the company is also heading for best ever performance in the operational parameters,” he said.

SAIL chairman V. S. Jain has stressed the need for 10 per cent improvement in all critical productivity parameters.

“Continuing with its thrust on maximising the existing potential of man, money and machinery, SAIL has already achieved a cost reduction of about Rs 375 crore till February this year,” he said.

To improve its bottomline and earn net profit next fiscal, SAIL has decided to focus on reducing cost of production, improve operational efficiency besides substituting high interest loans and reducing the overall borrowing level by over Rs 500 crore.

In its bid to reduce the cost of capital, the company has taken a number of initiatives to achieve substantial savings over the high cost term loan. “The initiatives include negotiations with banks and financial institutions, substitution of high interest loans and reduction in overall borrowing level by over Rs 500 crore,” the executive said. He further pointed out that if the current demand pattern remains intact, the company will be able to bounce back into profit shortly.

The company’s losses came down to Rs 79 crore in the third quarter of 2002-03 from Rs 309 crore in the first quarter and in the last three months it hopes to break even, sources said.

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