India: Ultratech Cement has reported a 52% year-on-year drop in profits to US$43m for the quarter ending on 30 September 2013 from US$89m in the same period in 2012. It attributed the fall to lower prices due to reduced demand.
"The results of the quarter have been impacted mainly on account of lower selling price and subdued demand. Cement demand remained sluggish on account of prolonged monsoon and low offtake from the infrastructure and housing sectors," the Aditya Birla Group subsidiary said in a statement.
Net sales fell to US$731m from US$763m. Ultratech sold 9.1Mt of cement and clinker in the second quarter of 2013. Total expenditure rose to US$666m from US$638m.
Ultratech saw a benefit from a reduction in the price of coal minimised by the devaluation of the rupee. However, optimisation of the fuel mix helped to reduce power and fuel inputs. The Indian cement producer said that demand for cement may grow 5% during the current fiscal year, driven by housing and infrastructure spends.