India's largest sugar maker Bajaj Hindusthan today reported a net loss of Rs 35.65 crore in the first six months of the 2011-12 fiscal due to a sharp dip in its net sales.
The company had posted a profit of Rs 130.68 crore in the same period of 2010-11 fiscal (October-September).
"The operating and financial performance of the company during the first half of FY 2011-12 underscores the difficult sugar industry scenario this season characterised by higher sugarcane prices, lower recovery and subdued prices," Bajaj Hindusthan said in a filing to the BSE.
The net sales declined by 35% to Rs 1,757.46 crore during October-March period of 2011-12 from Rs 2,728.15 crore in the same period last year.
The operating profit during this period was also lower by 78% to Rs 88.82 crore.
Highlighting performance of its business segments, the company said earnings from sugar division remained subdued on account of rising cane costs and lower recoveries, which adversely impacted cost of production.
Revenue from sugar segment dipped by 22% to Rs 1,443.76 crore during the six-month period under review due to lower volumes. The realisation however were stable.
The company sold about 50.85 lakh quintals of sugar during the period and the average free sale realisation was Rs 29.38 crore per kg.
The landed cane costs for this period stood at about Rs 252 per quintal, significantly higher compared to Rs 217 per quintal in the same period last year. Sugar recovery for this period was lower at 9.11% against 9.30% in the year-ago period.
"The sugar division's profitability in the second half of 2011-12 will be impacted by higher cost of production," the company added.
Revenue from distillery business was also lower by 20% to Rs 134.81 crore as sales fell to Rs 468.94 lakh litres as against 636.47 lakh litres in the year-ago period.
However, the company's revenue from power division was up remarkably by 71% to Rs 110.79 crore, with substantial increase in volume by 66% to 26.37 crore units as against 15.84 crore units.
Going forward, Bajaj Hindusthan said, "We expect both distillery and power segments to be sustained drivers of bottom line growth in the future."
The share of the company, which has fourteen sugar plants in Uttar Pradesh, fell marginally to settle at Rs 25.40 at the BSE today.