Birla firm for duty shield

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  • Published 29.06.08

Calcutta, June 28: Century Enka, a BK Birla group company, has urged the authorities to impose anti-dumping duty on cheap imports of nylon tyre cord from east European country Belarus.

The profitability of nylon tyre cord, one of the main products manufactured by Century Enka, stumbled last year as the company was forced to reduce the prices to stave off imports.

Company director G.M. Singhvi said it had moved authorities along with Arun Bharat Ram’s SRF Ltd, another maker of nylon tyre cord. SRF and Century had lobbied against Chinese imports few years back and had received judgement in their favour.

Imports from China were stopped following an anti-dumping duty of Rs 51 per tonne.

“But now we have to tackle with imports from Belarus. We have taken the initiative. But it will take time,” Singhvi said on the sidelines of 42th annual general meeting of Century Enka.

Last fiscal, the company’s profit dropped to Rs 13.41 crore from Rs 16.72 crore as cheap imports forced it to reduce prices.

The rupee appreciation also made imports cheaper and hit the company’s bottomline. However, the rupee has started depreciating now, providing some relief to Century Enka.

The rise in energy cost also dented the company’s margins. To ensure a secured supply of energy, it had switched to its own power generation from furnace oil. However, crude oil price doubled last year, making the operation expensive. Hence, the company has decided to shift to grid power again.

B.K. Birla, chairman of the Century group, said he hoped the company would turn around in the next two years.