The country's largest steel maker SAIL on Thursday posted a loss of Rs 342.84 crore for the July-September quarter of the current fiscal due to demand contraction and moderation in prices.
The steel PSU had posted a standalone profit of Rs 553.69 crore in the second quarter of the previous fiscal.
Income during the second quarter declined to Rs 14,286.18 crore, from Rs 16,832.37 crore in the year-ago period, SAIL said in a regulatory filing.
Total expenses also fell to Rs 14,809.21 crore during the quarter from Rs 15,950.21 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.
The second quarter result was affected by a lot of factors on both domestic and global fronts, SAIL chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary said. It is common knowledge that several steel consuming sectors including auto, infrastructure and manufacturing did not perform well in the said quarter,
At the same time, the prices have also faced continuing downward pressure. This has reflected in the results, he said.
"During the period, the company has undertaken several measures for cost reduction across the organisation. The measures include improving operational efficiency through better techno-economic performances, better utilization of raw materials and improving revenue generation through other means," he said.
Meanwhile, timely announcement of new corporate tax rates and a slew of measures for increasing infrastructure and allied demand for steel by the government raise hope for the future.
The move for new corporate tax regime is expected to bring in investments in new projects from the freed up cash. The renewed thrust of the Government on investments and infrastructure projects, coupled with industry-friendly measures are likely to help in increasing steel demand in the second half of the Financial Year, signalling that the worst period may be over.