Birla Corporation's consolidated net profit jumped 51.9% to Rs 194.73 crore on 9.8% decline in net sales to Rs 1,689.97 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019.
Revenue was impacted as dispatches were suspended towards the end of the financial year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Consolidated profit before tax (PBT) soared 19.1% to Rs 192.37 crore in Q4 March 2020 as against Rs 161.47 crore in Q4 March 2019. During the quarter, EBITDA advanced 11.7% to Rs 373 crore from Rs 334 crore in Q4 March 2019. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 22 May 2020.
Sales volume dropped 13% to 3.3 million tonnes in Q4 March 2020 as against 3.8 million tonnes produced in Q4 March 2019. Capacity utilisation stood at 93% in Q4 FY20 as compared to 98% in Q4 FY19.
During the March quarter. the company reaped the benefits of lower fuel costs and its sustained investments into improving efficiency and cost rationalisation. The company's subsidiary, RCCPL (formerly Reliance Cement Company), has migrated to the new tax regime announced in October last year, and gains on account of the change have contributed significantly to the growth in consolidated net profit. Despite muted market conditions, Birla Corporation was able to raise price realisation through judicious adjustment of geographic and product mix aimed at increasing the share of blended and premium cement within its brand portfolio.
Birla Corporation's gross term debt at the end of March 2020 stood at Rs 4,226 crore as compared with Rs 4,049 crore in March 2019. Net debt at the end of fiscal 2019-20 was less than Rs 3,500 crore, which includes bank loans worth Rs 543 crore for the under-construction cement plant at Mukutban in Maharashtra. The company continues to adopt a strategy for pre-payment/ refinancing of loans to reduce its cost of funding or reduce foreign exchange exposure, wherever opportunities exist.
Birla Corporation is not taking the moratorium on repayment of term loans and interest. The management is taking several initiatives to cut costs across the board and defer capital expenditure. These measures are being taken despite securing financial closure for all projects currently underway.
The board recommended a dividend of Rs 7.50 per share. The board also approved issue of secured/unsecured redeemable non-convertible debentures (NCDs) (including bonds) aggregating upto Rs 300 crore on private placement basis in one or more tranches, within the overall borrowing limits of the company, as approved by the members, from time to time, within a period of one year.
The board also passed an enabling resolution for premature redemption/buyback of secured NCDs issued by the company with a view to bring down borrowing cost, if such opportunity prevails in the market.
Birla Corporation is primarily engaged in the manufacturing of cement as its core business activity. It has significant presence in the jute goods industry as well.
Shares of Birla Corporation declined 1.39% to Rs 405.75 on BSE on Friday, 22 May 2020.
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