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Century to restart shipping business, expand cement

Century to restart shipping business, expand cement

Mumbai: Diversified Century Textiles & Industries Ltd plans to restart its shipping business, which it had shut down about 8 years back, due to a buoyant shipping industry.

“We had closed the business 7-8 years back due to market conditions. We are now considering restarting it," RK Dalmia, senior president at Century Textiles, told Reuters.

“We had sold all our vessels back then, so we do not have any vessels at present," he said.

The firm had not set aside an investment for the business as it would have to obtain shareholders approval for restarting the venture, he added. The annual general meeting for shareholder approval is scheduled to be held in July, the company said.

Century, whose FY10 net grew 43% to Rs339 crore on higher revenues, makes cement, denim, paper and yarn.

Its revenues and profits grew mainly due to the performance of its cement division, which contributes 60% of total sales.

Cement profits grew 73% to Rs830 crore in FY10, but losses at its textiles and pulp and paper businesses weighed down on overall gains.

Century is pumping in Rs202.5 crore to expand cement capacity to 12.5 million tonnes annually by the end of calendar 2012 from 7.8 million tonnes now and another Rs166 crore in its pulp and paper division to set up new plants and buy machinery.

Century Textiles, which has 40 acres (16.2 hectares) of land in Worli in central Mumbai, is constructing two buildings for commercial purposes to be completed in 12-15 months, Dalmia said.

He said it was too early to give estimated yields from the real estate venture.

Century Textiles shares were down 2.35% to Rs512 in a weak Mumbai market.

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