State-owned NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation) today said its profit after tax fell by 30 per cent to Rs 1,293 crore during the third quarter ended December 31, on lower production and subdued demand.
The iron ore miner had reported a net profit of Rs 1,858.81 crore during the third quarter of the fiscal 2011-12.
Turnover for the December quarter 2012 also fell by 27 per cent to Rs 2,048 crore from Rs 2,822 crore a year ago.
According to NMDC chief CS Varma, heavy rains in the Bailadila mines area disrupted the mining and evacuation of ore which dragged down production to 5.36 million tonnes during the quarter, as against 7.14 million tonnes in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal.
Sales were registered at 5.32 million tonnes during the last quarter in the current fiscal against 6.40 million tonnes during the corresponding period last fiscal.
"The main reason has been there was heavy rain fall in the Bailadilla region where 80 per cent of the production comes from that region. The rain fall has been the highest for the last 20 years. Subdued market condition has also impacted the revenue," Varma told reporters in a press conference.
Varma, however, said he is confident that they would able to make up production loss in the current quarter.
"Now the production has picked up and we are quite hopeful whatever production we lost during the three quarters we should be able to make up in the current quarter," he said.
He expected the company would end up with a production of about 26 million tonnes by the end of this fiscal, marginally lower than last year's production of 27 million tonnes.
Replying to a query, he said, KPMG which was appointed by the miner on the pricing mechanism to be followed, is expected to submit its recommendations soon and hence the monthly pricing policy will continue in March also.
"We take all factors such as demand and supply scenario and all the appetite of steel sector. We appointed KPMG. We want to have pricing which is fully professional. In a couple of months, it will be ready. We will decide the pricing for March in the first week of March," he said.
On capex for the 12th Plan, he said they earmarked Rs 30,000 crore for the five-year plan and majority of this would be spent on the steel plant in Chhattisgarh.
Verma said NMDC was expanding its capacity from current 32