The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Better-than-expected figures from Grasim

Mumbai, July 28: Grasim Industries today beat expectations with a 24 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 107.1 crore for the first quarter ended June 30 against Rs 107.1 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The numbers came on the back of a jump in net realisations of viscose staple fibre (VSF), sponge iron and caustic soda. There was almost no change in the money it made from the cement business during the quarter.

Turnover rose to Rs 1175 crore from Rs 1135.5 crore in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. The performance, the company said, was achieved despite a shutdown of two of its VSF units for 45 days.

Grasim had to grapple with a lower capacity utilisation in its viscose staple fibre business, coupled with a 15 per cent decline in sales volumes, but the two limiting factors were more than overcome with the help of higher realisation and maximum cost optimisation.

In cement, Rs 290 crore has been set aside for capital expenditure over the next year. The planned modernisation and capacity expansion through de-bottlenecking will raise its capacity to 13.47 million tonnes this year.

Net realisation from cement dipped to Rs 1728 crore from Rs 1736 crore, though production at 2.91 million tonnes was up 4 per cent and sales at 2.90 million tonnes rose 5 per cent.

Sponge iron contributed handsomely to the turnover, bringing in Rs 7811 crore compared with Rs 5908 crore in the first quarter of 2002-03. The company said strong demand in Western markets pushed up sales 32 per cent.

The better-than-expected results sent the stock rising over 4 per cent to Rs 509.50 on BSE. It finished at Rs 499.30 in a gain of Rs 9.45 over its previous close on Friday.

Gail profits up

Gail (India) reported an 18 per cent increase in its net profit at Rs 365.09 crore in the first quarter compared with Rs 310.56 crore in the same period last year. Sales rose 12 per cent to Rs 2923.18 crore against Rs 2620.7 crore in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. “The increase in turnover and profits are mainly due to higher volumes of natural gas carried, LPG sales and LPG transportation,” a release said.

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