Blue Star net profit up 17% to Rs 27.45 cr

Mumbai: The central air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration major Blue Star (www.bluestarindia.com) has registered a net profit of Rs 27.45 crore for the year ended 31 March 2002 from a total income of Rs 517.32 crore.

Despite a marginal growth in the total income, the net profit grew by 17 per cent. Earnings per share increased to Rs 13.52 from Rs 11.58.

The directors have recommended a record dividend of Rs 6.50 per equity share. Blue Star has been paying attractive dividends every year for the last 32 years, ever since it went public in 1969.

Blue Star made an offer to buy back a maximum of 50,80,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each of the company, being 25 per cent of the total existing paid-up equity share capital, at a price not exceeding Rs 75 per equity share from the open market through bourses.

The scheme was effective 15 February 2002, and the company has purchased 10,20,035 equity shares, or approximately 5 per cent, at an average price of Rs 61.14 from the open market as of 31 March 2002.

The Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE) has ranked Blue Star as the largest company in India in its report on 'Industry Market Size and Shares,' published in August 2001. The category includes all types of air-conditioning equipment, namely central air-conditioning plants, packaged air-conditioners, and split and window air-conditioners. Blue Star has been ranked overall No 1 in this category, with a market-share of 23.45 per cent.

During the financial year 2001-02, the company strengthened its leadership position in its core air-conditioning and refrigeration business. The company substantially expanded its distribution reach through major dealerisation initiatives.

For over 45 years, Blue Star has been marketing a wide range of products, systems and services in the field of professional electronics. The lines of business are medical electronics, data communication, test and measuring instruments, analytical instruments, material testing machines and industrial equipment. The company represents world-renowned manufacturers, usually leaders in their respective fields, such as Hitachi Medical and Scientific Atlanta.

The electronics division constantly keeps pace with technical advances around the world, and its strength lies in its intellectual capital. The division has produced a profit every single year of its existence, with minimum capital employment. During the financial year 2001-02, this division has contributed significantly to the overall performance of the company.

Says Blue Star chairman and chief executive officer Ashok M Advani: “On the whole, the productive use of resources and an excellent tax planning resulted in improved profitability. The shareholders will be happy to know that the return on the average capital employed improved to 27 per cent from 20 per cent, while the return on shareholders' funds increased to 25 per cent from 21 per cent.“