Mumbai: India’s third biggest cement maker Ambuja Cements Ltd on Friday reported an increase of about 29% in its consolidated net profit in 2007 driven by higher sales, which were aided by higher cement prices and improved realizations.
The company’s consolidated net profit for the year ended December rose to Rs1,846.11 crore, from Rs1,435.18 crore reported in the comparable year-ago period. Cement despatches rose 3% for the period under consideration.
The company’s net sales, on a consolidated basis, rose more than 17% to Rs5,792.08 crore, from Rs4,931.98 crore in the year-ago period.
Total income jumped about 18% to Rs6,064.85 crore in 2007, from Rs5,143.12 crore in 2006, the company said in a statement.
Earlier in January, Ambuja Cements had said that cement despatches had risen to 16.9 million tonnes (mt) in 2007, from 16.3mt despatched in 2006. Cement production for 2007 also rose 3% to 16.9mt, from 16.3mt in 2006.
Shares of Ambuja Cements closed down less than 1% at Rs118.65 at the close of trading, while the Sensex, the benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), closed more than 3% up at 18,233.42 on Friday.
The stock has lost nearly 15% of its value in the lastone year, underperforming the Sensex, which has risenabout 28%.
For 2008, a company statement to BSE said, “Although, growth may moderate in the short term, macroeconomic fundamentals are sound and the outlook for the Indian economy remains bright. This reflects in the company’s current and planned capital investments.”
Ambuja Cements expects major infrastructure development projects, as well as residential housing construction, to continue to support robust growth in cement demand.
On a stand-alone basis, the company’s net profit rose 32% to Rs1,769.10 crore for the year ended 31 December, compared with Rs1,340.07 crore for the year ended December 2006.
Its net sales rose to Rs5,704.84 crore in 2007 from Rs4,854.09 crore in 2006. Total income increased to Rs5,898.37 crore for 2007—up from Rs4,948.46 crore in 2006.
Switzerland’s cement maker Holcim Ltd owns about 46% stake in Ambuja Cements.