MAGFIL announces 98% hike in profits

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Kochi, May 9 (UNI) Announcing a 98 per cent hike in its consolidated net profit at Rs 21.36 crore for 2007-08, Kerala-based Manappuram General Finance and Leasing Ltd (MAGFIL) said it was in talks with a major foreign bank for a Rs 100 crore equity infusion into the company this year.

Addressing a press conference here last evening, MAGFIL Chairman V P Nandakumar said the company had also decided to give another five per cent dividend for 2007-08 in addition to the 15 per cent announced earlier, taking the total dividend for the year to 20 per cent.

The dividend payment during 2006-07 was 18 per cent.

An NBFC registered with the RBI, the Thrissur-based MAGFIL registered a total income of Rs 79.66 crore in 2007-08 as against Rs 43.65 crore in the previous year, an increase of 82 per cent.

Profit before tax stood at Rs 31.96 crore as against Rs 16.35 crore in the previous year, he added.

Mr Nandakumar said the company was negotiating with four or five potential partners, including a major foreign bank, for a Rs 100 crore equity infusion into the company.

During 2007-08, the company had received foreign equity of Rs 46.8 crore from Hudson Equity Holdings and Sequoia Capital, becoming the first NBFC from Kerala to receive FDI. The infusion of foreign capital had helped to improve the company's capital base.

A leading player in the gold loan business, MAGFIL was planning to add 250 new branches to its existing network of nearly 400 branches across 13 states.

All necessary formalities for listing the company on the National Stock Exchange had been completed, he said.

The company was also planning a merger of its subsidiary Manappuram Finance Tamil Nadu Pvt Ltd into the parent company this year.

As part of its growth plans, the company was aiming to unlock the value of at least ten per cent of the the huge household jewellery reserves in the country, estimated at 15,000 tonnes.

It was also planning to launch shortly the sale of 22 carat hallmarked gold coins and lockets, weighing between one and ten grams.

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