UltraTech Q3 net more than doubles on housing, infra

Urban demand expected to improve, says cement maker

Aditya Birla group firm UltraTech Cement on Saturday reported over two-fold jump in consolidated net profit to Rs 1,584.58 crore in the December quarter, compared with ₹711.17 crore a year earlier, UltraTech Cement said in a BSE filing.

Revenue from operations rose 17.4% to ₹12,254.12 crore. Total expenses declined 6.29% to ₹10,190.03 crore in the third quarter of FY21. Volumes grew 14% to 22.82 million tonnes, it said.

“Recovery from the COVID-19-led distruption… has been fuelled by quicker demand stabilisation, supply-side restoration and greater cost efficiencies,” the firm said in a statement.

While rural and semi-urban housing continues to drive growth, the pick up in the government-led infrastructure aided incremental cement demand. “Pent-up urban demand is expected to improve with the gradual return of the migrant workforce,” it added.

Though fuel prices have risen in recent months, operational efficiencies and tight control over costs contributed to the company’s 26% operating margin.

“Focus on reducing debt continues. Net debt reduction during Q3 was ₹2,696 crore and year-to-date, it was ₹7,424 crore,” it said.

During the quarter, UltraTech’s Board approved capita expenditure of ₹5,477 crore towards increasing capacity by 12.8 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) with a mix of brownfield and greenfield expansion in the fast-growing markets of the east, central and north regions of the country.

“This expansion is in addition to the company’s 6.7 mtpa capacity addition that is currently underway in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal, which has picked up the pace and is expected to get commissioned by financial year 2022, in a phased manner,” it said.

“With strong rural growth, revival in manufacturing sentiment, buoyancy in GST and tax collections, UltraTech expects demand to grow on the back of the government’s push on infrastructure projects.”

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