India's largest steel company hopes to break even this fiscal
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India's largest steel company hopes to break even this fiscal

Wednesday, 25 September 2002, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's largest steel company, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is on recovery path and hopes to break even this fiscal.

"The company is likely to break even this fiscal if the prevailing market up-trend persists," SAIL chairman Arvind Pande said here Tuesday at the company's 30th annual general meeting.

"The top-line gains achieved in the first half of the current fiscal as a result of the high performance in every sphere from the beginning of the year, will lead to a much improved bottom-line," Pande told the company's shareholders.

Reviewing the progress made by the company during the past five years, Pande said key measures like intensive cost-reduction, downsizing of manpower, greater market orientation and stricter financial management had brought about visible definite changes in the organisational fabric.

The company is now entering a phase of generating surpluses, said Pande, who will be retiring at the end of the month.

Replying to a shareholder's query on the prospects of SAIL's turnaround, the company's finance director and chairman-designate V.S. Jain said the company was in a position to make a profit by the fourth quarter of the current fiscal.

The reduction of the company's debt by 60-70 billion in the last five years, as well as the benefits of restructuring, had considerably lowered the interest burden on SAIL, said Jain.

Building on such top-line gains, SAIL is all set to end the first half of the current fiscal with sales of half a million tonnes more steel than sold in the corresponding period last year, aided by over eight percent production growth and a healthy jump in sales realisations.

"SAIL is on a recovery path, with likely cash profit in the first half of the fiscal ending September, after a year's interval. This financial consolidation is expected to improve with the emerging buoyancy in the steel market, following the seasonal lull, which is leading to rising prices and a full export order load," said Jain.



Source: IANS
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