Birla Corp expects pressure on cement price

Wednesday, 28 January 2009, 02:50 Hrs
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Kolkata: Cement manufacturer Birla Corp Ltd Tuesday said cement prices will come under pressure in the current and next fiscals when the expected commissioning of new facilities takes place.

"Pick-up in the demand of cement has been witnessed during the later part of December 2008, mainly on account of the revival of demand in the UP (Uttar Pradesh) and Bihar regions, and the same is likely to continue in the quarter ending March 2009," the company said in a statement.

"However, implementation of the new cement capacity of about 100 million tonnes in the course of the next two years, coupled with the likely sluggishness in economic growth, is likely to impact realisation adversely," it added.

The company said production at its Durgapur cement facility, which resumed in July 2008, "is now stabilising and is expected to improve in the coming quarter".

The operations at Durgapur Cement Works and Durga Hitech Cement in Durgapur were suspended March 11, 2008 due to persistent acts of lawlessness by the workers.

Birla Corp, the flagship company of the M.P. Birla Group, has reported net profit of 813.8 million (81.38 crore) for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2008 against 1.06 billion (106.40 crore) for the corresponding period last year.

"The power and fuel cost was higher during the quarter mainly on account of increase in the cost of coal. However, the effect of softening fuel prices will be felt in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal," the release said.
Source: IANS
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