Mumbai: Tata Iron and Steel Company (Tisco) has decided to increase steel prices once again. The price of its hot-rolled steel will be increased in a range between Rs 700 and 800 per tonne. Tisco has been increasing the prices for the last two consecutive months.
Tisco managing director B Muthuraman says the demand for steel has been increasing steadily for the last two months. In March 2002 Tisco had increased prices by around Rs 1,000 per tonne and by another Rs 1,000 per tonne in the next month. The domestic prices of steel have grown by about 10 per cent since March 2002.
Muthuraman says the company has no plans to invest in the telecom business and it is looking at other business opportunities that will enhance shareholder value. "Earlier, we had explored options to foray into telecom business. But since other Tata group companies like Tata Tele Services and Tata Power have engaged in it, Tisco will not invest anything in the telecom sector."
He says Tisco's efforts to create value for shareholders will be directed towards improvement through cost reduction, productivity improvement, reduction in raw material consumption, modernisation, value-added product mix, focus on key segments, effective distribution system and sale of branded products.
Muthuraman says the company has identified the automobile sector as one of the potential growth-oriented segments and has initiated talks to supply steel to auto majors like Maruti. "We are still exploring different options to go for the proposed ferrochrome project in which the company has plans to invest around Rs 250 crore."
"The company's proposed destination for setting up the ferrochrome project is South Africa, though Australia is another destination we are considering. A final decision will be taken in the next board meeting," adds Muthuraman.
About the titanium project, he says the company has applied for mining licences in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and clearances for these state governments are awaited.
Tisco's net profit dipped 41.6 per cent to Rs 122 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2002 in comparison to Rs 209 crore the previous year. Its net sales totalled Rs 2,161 crore - down 8.2 per cent from Rs 2,354 crore recorded in the same period the previous year.