Cash-strapped SAIL declines dividend payout to govt
01 September 2018
With Rs3,220-cr of loans due for repayment this fiscal, state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is reported to have declined the government’s demand to pay dividend for the 2017-17 fiscal, rocking the government’s budget target of .raising over Rs1,06,000 crore from dividends and profit of PSUs in 2018-19.
SAIL has declined a government request for a dividend payout for the financial year ended 31 March 2018, saying it did not have “any cash and bank balance” and that its debt-to-income ratio was much higher than projected in loan documents, reports citing sources said.
SAIL’s net debt-to-earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) ratio was 8.5, against the 1.5 to 3.75 projected in loan agreements signed with lenders. It now looks like the company will have to meet repayment obligations through fresh borrowings.
The government has set a budget target of raising Rs1,06,000 crore from dividends and profit of state-owned companies this fiscal year ending March. It had received Rs1,23,000 crore, 13 per cent below the then target, as dividend and profit share from state-run firms last fiscal.
SAIL, India’s second-biggest steel firm by current production, however, reported a net (after-tax) profit of Rs540.43 crore in the first quarter of the current financial year.
SAIL’s turnover in Q1 FY19 rose 22.42 per cent year-on-year to Rs15,743.21 crore. EBITDA in Q1 FY19 stood at Rs2685.46 crore against Rs22.71 crore in comparable quarter last year, indicating an acceleration of the overall performance of the company.
SAIL said it is bringing comprehensive improvements in its entire operations which are backed by efforts for improving efficiencies and improved techno- economic parameters.
In the first quarter of FY 19, SAIL’s saleable steel production stood at 3.61 million tonnes, which was 13 per cent higher compared to last year. The company’s sales volume at 3.271 million tonnes in Q1 FY19 was also 8 per cent higher year-on-year.
EBITDA per tonne of sales stood at Rs8,211 for Q1 FY19, reflecting a robust functioning of all the processes. The company also recorded improvement in all the techno-economic parameters including coke rate (3 per cent), blast furnace productivity (2 per cent) and specific energy consumption (3 per cent).