Ultartech Cement today reported a little over six per cent dip in its consolidated net profit for the first quarter of the current fiscal at Rs 628 crore on lower prices and higher variable costs.
The Aditya Birla Group flagship had clocked a net profit of 669 crore during the April-June quarter of the last fiscal, it said in a statement.
"During the quarter, domestic cement sales volume improved by 14 per cent over the corresponding period in FY14.
However, prices continued to remain under pressure. Variable costs increased by 3 per cent mainly on account of increase in prices of petcoke and input material," Ultratech said.
On a consolidated basis, net sales, however, grew to Rs 5,989 crore compared to Rs 5,272 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The combined cement and clinker sales during the quarter stood at 11.70 million tonnes (MT) compared to 10.08 MT in the same period a year ago. The sale of white cement and wall care putty increased marginally to 2.57 lakh tonnes from 2.50 lakh tonnes.
On the outlook for the cement sector, it said, "Cement demand is slated to grow around 7-8 per cent, with expected double digit growth in the second half of the current fiscal.
The key value drivers will be renewed government focus on housing and infrastructure spending."
During the quarter, Ultratech completed the acquisition of the Gujarat Units of Jaypee Cement Corporation Limited, comprising an integrated Unit at Sewagram and a grinding Unit at Wanakbori with a combined capacity of 4.8 mtpa.
With this acquisition, the cement capacity of the company stands at 58.8 mtpa in India.