Indian steel major cuts losses

Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is on the road to recovery, having cut its losses by 5.07 billion or 87 percent during the October-December third quarter (Q-3) of the 2002-03 fiscal.

The losses of the state-owned steel major have been slashed to 787.50 million in Q-3 of the current fiscal, compared to 5.85 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year, marking an improvement of 5.07 billion, said an official statement released Tuesday.

"The unaudited financial results for April-December 2002, taken on record by the company's board of directors Tuesday showed a sharp improvement in the performance of the company," the release said.

Overall, during the first three quarters of the fiscal year ending March 31, the SAIL losses were brought down by 7.32 billion to a level of 5.58 billion, showing a 57 percent recovery over the results of the same period in 2001.

"Continued improvement in production, sales and techno-economic performance has given further impetus to our turnaround effort," said SAIL Chairman V.S. Jain.

"Improvement in financial performance by over 5 billion during Q-3 has given us the confidence that SAIL is all set to turn the corner very soon."

The company recorded an all-time high turnover of 130.97 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal, reflecting an improvement of 21 percent over the corresponding period in 2001.

The turnover for Q-3 at 49.08 billion, an all-time best, was 28 percent higher than in the corresponding period in the previous year.

As a result of this remarkable performance, the company's cash profit during October-December 2002 jumped to 2.15 billion, in comparison to the cash loss of 2.97 billion in Q-3 of 2001-02.

This contributed to the company posting cash profit of 3.05 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal.

SAIL had suffered a cash loss of 4.34 billion during the corresponding period in the last fiscal.

"Improvement in market conditions and the company's own product-mix helped mild steel sale volumes to grow by around nine percent as well as push up net sales realisation by 15 percent during April-December 2002 over the corresponding period last year," the company release stated.

Total SAIL sales of mild steel during the first nine months of the current fiscal year was 6.9 million tonnes, of which exports comprised 530,000 tonnes.

Exports grew sharply by more than 120 percent in Q-3, bringing the overall growth for April-December 2002 to 26 percent.

A seven percent growth in saleable steel production and achievement of all time best techno-economic parameters were the highlights of operational performance during this period.

The improvement in performance has helped the company in reducing its borrowing level by 3.71 billion over March 2002.

Capital-related expenses were brought down by 1.68 billion during April-December 2002 through reduction in interest charges along with redeeming of high interest-bearing debts. A renewed cost reduction drive led to savings of around 2.5 billion during the first nine months of the current financial year
Source: IANS
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