India: ACC has reported a 40.8% drop in its consolidated net profit to US$37.9m for the quarter that ended on 31 March 2015 owing to slack demand in the domestic market. It had posted net profit of US$64.1m during the same period of 2014.
"With slack demand for cement from infrastructure and the general construction sector in the January - March quarter, the overall cement sales volumes registered a decline compared with the corresponding period of 2014," said the company in a statement. "The overall operating costs for cement business registered an increase of 3.6% year-on-year."
The company's total consolidated turnover for the quarter saw a 2.75% decline to US$462m compared with US$475m in the same period of 2014. Sales volumes declined to 5.82Mt as against 6.48Mt in 2014. Its total income from operations increased by 1.75% year-on-year to US$493m. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 18.3% to US$79.7m. "EBITDA for the quarter reflects continued margin improvements," said ACC's statement. During the quarter, ACC also received US$22.4m as an incentive from the Jharkhand government following a high court order, which helped push up its EBITDA.
ACC is hopeful that cement demand will improve in the next two quarters and said that its focus will continue to be on performance. "We see a modest but steady revival for the Indian economy in 2015. This will have a positive impact on infrastructure, housing and construction sectors and will increase the demand for cement," said ACC chairman NS Sekhsaria. The company is now looking forward to commission its clinker plant and allied grinding plant at its Jamul plant in Durg, Chhattisgarh by the end of 2015.