New Delhi: DCM Shriram Ltd on Wednesday reported a 68% decline in consolidated net profit at Rs50.71 crore for the quarter ended March mainly due to lower sales realisation in sugar business. Its net profit stood at Rs156.35 crore in the year-ago period, according to a regulatory filing.

Total income from operations in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal also dropped to Rs1,575.96 crore from Rs1,722.96 crore in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

Net profit, however, rose to Rs669.56 crore during the last fiscal from Rs551.68 crore in 2016-17. Total income from operations also rose to Rs7,062.67 crore in the 2017-18 fiscal from Rs6,163.96 crore in the previous year.

DCM Shriram is engaged in many businesses including sugar, seeds, fertilisers and chemicals. “We are happy to report a satisfactory performance for the quarter and for the year. All our businesses have emerged stronger and more competitive as a result of steps taken over the last few years," said Ajay Shriram, chairman and senior MD, and Vikram Shriram, vice chairman and MD of the company.

“Our chlor-alkali business has become stronger with economies of scale and substantial improvement in power efficiencies. The planned capacity expansion and setting up of facilities for chlorine based chemicals will make this business further strong," they added.

Stating that sugar business is experiencing difficult price situation with prices significantly below cost, Ajay Shriram said the industry has been pursuing with government for immediate support as well as a rational policy framework. There is need for urgent action in this regard to ensure that farmers’ interests are protected, Vikram Shriram said.

Over the last few years, they said, the company has taken several steps to strengthen the sugar business. “Overall we are confident of sustained growth with stronger business portfolio going forward," they said.