SAIL Q1 net up 20.3% at Rs 1,835.19 cr

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New Delhi, Jul 21 (UNI) Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), country's leading steel manufacturer today attributed its 20.3 per cent growth in its net profit to higher sales volume and increased special/value-added steel production.

The company has posted 20.3 per cent increase in its net profit to Rs 1,835.19 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 from Rs 1,525.12 crore in the corresponding period previous year, a company statement said.

''Our strategy of thrust on production of value-added and special quality steels, higher production with still better capacity utilisation and continual improvement in operational efficiencies has helped the company to offset cost pressures and improve profitability, in spite of holding the price line,'' SAIL Chairman S K Roongta said.

With thrust maintained on production of value-added and special steels, the SAIL plants produced about one million tonnes of steel items during Q1, showing a growth of 41 per cent over CPLY.

The growth includes electrode-quality wire rods (51 per cent), TMT HCRM 500/550-grade wire and rounds (39 per cent), bars and rounds (21 per cent), CRNO (14 per cent).

SAIL also produced 5 per cent higher volume of 90-UTS rails (about 2 lakh tonnes) for the Indian Railways during Q1. With utilisation of finishing mills at an all-time high in Q1, finished steel production comprised 88 per cent of production as compared to 84 per cent in CPLY.

The company's total income also increased 36.8 per cent to Rs 11,421.99 crore for the Q1FY09 from Rs 8,346.40 crore in the same period last fiscal.

During Q1, SAIL's debt-equity ratio improved to 0.11:1 as on 30th June '08 from 0.13:1 as on 31st March '08 with reduction in borrowings by Rs 260.55 crore. With pace of projects under the expansion plan picking up, capital expenditure during the quarter at Rs 737 crore doubled over CPLY.

UNI BKS PDT KN1846

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