SAIL net up 124 pc in Q3

Press Release
New Delhi
The Hindu Business Line

Aided by higher production and robust domestic sales, public sector steel major Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) on Monday reported a 124.2 per cent increase in net profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2006 at Rs 1,471.19 crore. The third quarter net profit in 2005-06 was Rs 656.07 crore.

With high profits being reported for Q3 of 2006-07, SAIL's net profit for the first nine months of the current fiscal were at a record high of Rs 4,300.41 crore. This represented a 47.79 per cent increase over the net profit of Rs 2,909.7 crore recorded in the same period in the previous year.

Explaining the robust performance, the SAIL Chairman, Mr S.K. Roongta, said, "Our production was up six per cent and sales were up nine per cent during the third quarter, which helped us post healthy growth figures."

It also declared an interim dividend of 16 per cent amounting to Rs 660.86 crore.

SAIL's total income for the third quarter this year was up 30 per cent to Rs 8,760.16 crore (Rs 6,736.84 crore). The company achieved a record production of 3.3 million tonnes (MT) of saleable steel and highest ever sales of 3 MT during the quarter ended December 31, 2006. About the nine-month period ending December 31, 2006, the Chairman said total sales stood at Rs 25,241.55 crore, up 25 per cent over Rs 20,183.7 crore in the same period in the previous year.

M Roongta said that the nine month net profit and turnover this fiscal was the highest ever registered by SAIL. "The outlook for the next quarter is good and we are aiming for five per cent higher capacity utilisation over third quarter" Mr Roongta said.

In April-December 2006, SAIL recorded the best ever production of 9.3 MT of saleable steel and also the best ever sales. Borrowings have come down by Rs 384 crore from Rs 4,298 crore on March 31, 2006 to Rs 3,914 crore as on December 31, 2006.