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Ashok Leyland to invest up to Rs 1,300 cr

Also plans to reduce its debt by rs 300 cr by the end of this fiscal

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flagship firm today said it will invest up to Rs 1,300 crore on various activities and plans to reduce its overall debt by Rs 300 crore by the end of this fiscal.

The company will repay Rs 200 crore of debt by March 2013. Besides, it plans to reduce its working capital by Rs 700-800 crore.

"Our capex plan for this fiscal is Rs 600-650 crore. A similar amount will be put in as investment by March 2013 on various divisions," Ashok Leyland Chief Financial Officer told analysts in a conference call.

The company has already invested Rs 350 crore in the first six months of this fiscal under its capex plans, while the rest will be put in by FY'13-end, he added.

"We will invest Rs 300 crore in Hinduja Foundries, while the remaining part of the investment amount will go into our joint venture with Nissan and John Deere," Sridharan said.

Talking about the company's overall debt position, he said it will come down to about Rs 4,000 crore from the current Rs 4,300 crore.

"We are trying to bring down our working capital below Rs 1,000 crore from Rs 1,700-1,800 crore at present. Also about Rs 200 crore of debt will be repaid in the second half of this fiscal," Sridharan said.

Meanwhile, Ashok Leyland will borrow Rs 600-700 crore in the remaining part of the current fiscal, he added.

"We have raised Rs 600-700 crore of debt in the first half and a similar amount will be borrowed in the second half too," Sridharan said.

Ashok Leyland scrip was trading 6.02 per cent up at Rs 25.55 in the afternoon on the BSE.

Yesterday, the company had reported 7.45 per cent dip in net profit to Rs 142.59 crore for the quarter ended September 30. It had posted a net profit of Rs 154.08 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Its total income rose, however, to Rs 3,319.91 crore during the quarter, from Rs 3,128.27 crore in the same period of last fiscal, up 6.13 per cent.

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