UltraTech reports lower Q4 profit of Rs657 cr; to pay 90% dividend

Aditya Birla Group Company UltraTech Cement has reported a consolidated net profit of Rs657 crore for the fourth quarter of the 2014-15 financial year ended 31 March 2015, against a net profit of Rs862 crore during the year-ago period.

The board of directors of the company at its meeting today also recommended a dividend of 90 per cent (Rs9 per share of face value Rs10 each) aggregating to Rs246.96 crore.

Ultratech saw consolidated net sales rise to Rs6,518 crore during January-March 2015 compared to Rs6,186 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. Profit before interest, depreciation and tax (PBIDT) stood at Rs1,437 crore.

Standalone net (after-tax) profit stood at Rs615 crore (which included additional provision of Rs50 crore for deferred tax due to increase in surcharge on income-tax) compared to Rs838 crore (including tax provision reversal related to earlier years of Rs96 crore).

Standalone net sales stood at Rs6,135 crore during the January-March 2015 quarter against Rs5,832 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. Profit before interest, depreciation and tax (PBIDT) stood at Rs1,364 crore against Rs1,329 crore during the year-ago quarter.

Ultratech said its combined cement and clinker sales of grey cement (for Indian operations) was lower at 11.81 million tonnes against 12.18 million tonnes in the year-before quarter, while sales of white cement and wall care putty was higher at 3.52 lakh tonnes against 3.28 lakh tonnes during the year-ago quarter.

During the quarter, Ultratech commissioned a 2 mtpa clinkerisation plant and a 10 MW waste heat recovery system at Shambupura, in Rajasthan. The company also commissioned a 6 MW waste heat recovery system at Malkhed, Karnataka. The benefits of these will be realised in the coming years, the company said.

For the financial year ended 31 March 2015, Ultratech said it net profit stood at Rs2,015 crore (which includes additional provision of Rs50 crore for deferred tax due to increase in surcharge on income-tax) against Rs2,144 crore (including tax provision reversal related to earlier years of Rs96 crore) in FY14.

Consolidated net sales for the 2014-15 financial year stood at Rs24,065 crore compared to Rs21,443 crore in the previous year.

Profit before interest, depreciation and tax (PBIDT) stood at Rs4,777 crore against Rs4,358 crore in the previous year.

Standalone net sales stood at Rs22,656 crore, which was 13 per cent higher than sales of Rs20,078 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Profit before interest, depreciation and tax stood at Rs4,569 crore against Rs4,147 crore in the previous year.

The combined cement and clinker sales of grey cement (for Indian operations) for the financial year rose to 44.85 million tonnes from 41.47 million tonnes in the previous year, while annual sales of white cement and wall care putty rose to 12.25 lakh tones from 11.41 lakh tonnes in the previous year.

Although there was some relief on account of softening in coal prices, the cost of limestone and other input materials continued to remain high, putting pressure on margins, Ultratech said, adding that the company continues to optimise its fuel mix and other operating costs.

The board of directors of the company at its meeting today recommended a dividend of 90 per cent (Rs9 per share of face value Rs10 each) aggregating Rs246.96 crore. Ultratech said the company will absorb the corporate tax on dividend amounting to Rs50.28 crore, resulting in a total payout of Rs297.24 crore.

During the year, Ultratech has completed the acquisition of the Gujarat units of Jaypee Cement Corporation Limited (JCCL) comprising an integrated unit at Sewagram and a grinding unit at Wanakbori, with a combined capacity of 4.8 mtpa, at an enterprise value of Rs3,800 crore besides the actual net working capital at closing, with effect from 12 June 2014.

The board of directors had earlier approved the acquisition of the cement units of Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) situated at Bela and Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh, having a capacity of  4.9 mtpa together with a 180 MW TPP at an enterprise value of Rs5,325 crore.

The transaction, being carried out by way of a scheme of arrangement in terms of the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, is subject to the approval of the shareholders and creditors of both the companies and sanction by the high courts. The Competition Commission of India has already approved the transaction, Ultratech said.

With the acquisition of the cement units in Gujarat and the routine expansion plans, the company's cement capacity in India stands raised to 60.2 mtpa.

The company has been awarded the Bicharpur coal block situated in Madhya Pradesh in the recent coal block auctions, which, the company said, will provide fuel security for the company's plants within the vicinity of the mines, for a period of 30 years with its reserves of 29.12 million tonnes of coal.

During the year, Ultratech also commissioned a 25 MW thermal power plant at Malkhed, Karnataka; a 25 MW thermal power plant at Tadipatri, Andhra Pradesh; a 6.5 MW waste heat recovery system at Awarpur, Maharashtra and a 1.4 mtpa cement mill at Rajashree Cement, Karnataka.

With the government's focus on development of the infrastructure and housing sector, Ultratech said the company is positioned to meet the rise in demand and participate in the next phase of growth in the country.