Despite the rise in prices of key inputs such as coal and petcoke, Birla Corporation posted a Rs 27.4 crore net profit and a 12.1 per cent increase in net sales at Rs 1,556.9 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2018 backed by sales and better realisations in its key markets.
The net revenue during the similar quarter of the last fiscal year stood at Rs 1,387.8 crore while the company incurred a loss of Rs 21.8 crore.
The MP Birla Group company’s consolidated EBITDA for the December quarter shot up by 48.3 per cent to Rs 217.7 crore over the same period last year due to increase in the share of blended cement in total sales, launch of premium products and improved efficiency in operations, besides others.
Last month, the company initiated construction of a 3.9-million-tonne plant in Mukutban, Maharashtra, at a cost of Rs 2,450 crore. The investment includes construction of a 40 Mw captive power plant and a power generation facility of 10.6 Mw using waste heat recovery system. The cement plant is expected to be commissioned in 2021-22.
According to the firm, blended cement now accounts for around 89 per cent of the total sales volume as compared with 87 per cent at the end of the September quarter and 85 per cent a year ago. Realisations in the December quarter has gone up by eight per cent over the same period last year.
MP Birla Cement’s flagship brand, Perfect Plus, was launched in the northern markets of Rajasthan and Haryana and is now contributing approximately 10 per cent of total non-institutional sales in these markets. On the other hand, its heritage budget brand, MP Birla Samrat, has now established leadership position in central and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
“Building on its equity, the company has launched MP Birla Samrat Advanced to increase its value share in the market. Also, Birla Corporation is increasingly benefitting from better management of sales logistics, which has helped tighten the working capital cycle,” a company statement said.
According to the company, although the price of diesel has started to soften, it is still up by more than 20 per cent from the beginning of the current financial year which has pushed up transportation cost of both raw materials and finished goods.