Shares of Steel Authority of India (SAIL) hit an over two-year high of Rs 88.40 on the BSE as they rallied 5.5 per cent in intra-day trade on Monday, in an otherwise weak market, after the company recorded its best-ever quarterly performance both in terms of production and sales during the January-March quarter (Q4FY21).
The stock of the state-owned steel major was trading at its highest level since June 2018. At 09:27 am, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.73 per cent at 49,666.
The crude steel production volume for the quarter stood at 4.55 million tonnes (MT), up 6 per cent year-on-year (YoY) and 4 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). Meanwhile, the sales volume for Q4FY21 came in at 4.27 MT, up 14 per cent YoY and 3 per cent QoQ, SAIL said in a press release.
Aided by a healthy Q4FY21 performance, SAIL reported its best-ever annual sales volume during the financial year 2020-21 (FY21). FY21 sales volume was at 14.87 MT compared with 14.23 MT in FY20, a growth of 4.4 per cent YoY.
The management said after the difficult market conditions during the initial months of the financial year, the company adopted a focused approach on improving its volumes and operational efficiencies, operating the facilities at optimum levels, deleveraging its balance sheet, reducing its inventory levels, etc.
"The multipronged strategy has helped us top the performances during the month, quarter, as well as, the year. The team effort by the SAIL employees helped in seizing the opportunity offered by the pick-up in the economic activities in the country especially the steel-intensive ·sectors like infrastructure, construction, automobiles, etc," the management added.
In line with its focus on reducing the borrowings, the company has reduced its gross debts by around Rs 16,150 crore to stand at Rs 35,330 crore (provisional) as on March 31, 2021 vis-à-vis Rs 51,481 crore as on March 31, 2020.
In the past week, the stock of SAIL has outperformed the market by surging 22 per cent as against a 2.5 per cent gain in the S&P BSE Sensex. In the last six months, it has zoomed 156 per cent as compared to a 28 per cent rally in the benchmark index.