The Telegraph
Saturday , August 2 , 2014
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Berger palette set to undergo a remix

(From left) Abhijit Roy with Berger Paints chairman K. S. Dhingra and vice-chairman G. S. Dhingra in Calcutta on Friday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, Aug. 1: Berger Paints is planning to expand its presence in industrial paints and hopes to commission a powder coating plant at Jejuri near Pune in Maharashtra this year.

Berger subsidiary British Paints is also looking to set up a plant in Andhra Pradesh to cater to the demand from Japanese automobile makers Toyota and Honda.

At Jejuri, the plant will have an initial capacity of 900 tonnes per annum, which can be scaled up to 3,600 tonnes.

“This plant will primarily cater to the demand from the industrial segment, including automobiles, and cover west and south India,” Abhijit Roy, managing director and chief executive officer of Berger Paints, today said on the sidelines of the company’s annual general meeting.

He said the company was planning to set up a unit at Gollapuram in Andhra Pradesh.

Roy said the expansion would be done by British Paints, which has a joint venture with Japanese company Nippon Bee. A plant in the south could help lower the freight costs for the company.

“The industrial paints business is just about taking off. The commercial vehicle category is still in slow lane but could recover later this year,” Roy said. Industrial paints constitute 20 per cent of the company’s total business.

On decorative paints, Roy said the company was very close to commissioning its water-based plant in Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh.

“We have got all the necessary clearances. The plant could be commissioned either this month or the next,” Roy said. The plant will have an initial capacity of 80,000 tonnes per annum.

Roy also said that the strategic pickup of stake at Sherwin Williams would help the firm to expand in the western markets in India. He added that the business could add around Rs 100 crore to the net sales of the Calcutta-based paint maker.

Berger chairman K.S. Dhingra said, “Our growth strategy is both organic and inorganic.”

The company has reported a 17 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 57.5 crore for the quarter ended June 30 against Rs 49.1 crore a year ago.

Consolidated net sales grew 17 per cent to Rs 1,060.5 crore against Rs 907.8 crore in the corresponding quarter previous fiscal.