India Cements hopes for Infra push for growth
Chennai-based cement manufacturer India Cements posted higher profits over better sales figures, especially on account of a brighter export scenario, even as it batted against uncertainties wrought by the demonetisation in November.
The company’s profits stood at Rs 35 crore against a marginal profit of Rs 3 crore in the December quarter last year. On the volumes front, the company sold 24 lakh tonnes against 19.3 lakh tonnes last year. In the nine months to December of FY17, profits were at Rs 141 crore against Rs 79 crore last year.
The company’s chairman and managing director N Srinivasan told that better demand for cement in the south and improvement in Andhra Pradesh for its low-cost housing project are green shoots in an economy said to be undergoing a slow down because of the demonetisation. However, for his company, Srinivasan maintained the currency-scrapping move has had little impact as intensive dealer education and quicker adoption of Point-of-Sale machines kept business as usual.
India Cements is also strategising for the long-term with objectives of balancing growth with its commitment to cut debt. “We are devising a strategy towards ascertaining where we would like to be in 4-5 years,” said Srinivasan.
The company has also embarked on debt refinancing. Its near-term commitments have been reduced as a result of the refinancing. The company’s long-term debt totals Rs 1900 crore. Due to better ratings, the company has also become eligible to issue commercial papers which will help cut cost of funds, said N Srinivasan.
Going forward, exporting destinations such as Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates will also be focused along with Sri Lanka to raise exports’ contributions to revenue.