Ultratech Cement, the largest cement player in the country, on Wednesday posted better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 on the back of lower tax expenses.
The company, which has a cement production capacity of 59 mtpa, reported a net profit of R838 crore, up 15.40% year on year. The bottomline was boosted by reversal of excess tax from earlier years of R95.56 crore.
Though the company saw a sequential improvement of nearly 517 basis points in the operating margin, it was 200 bps lower y-o-y. As a result, though sales for the March quarter were up 8.18% y-o-y at R5,831.87 crore, Ebitda came in at R1,271 crore, marginally lower than the R1,281 crore reported in the March quarter of the previous fiscal.
The company in its release attributed the deterioration in the operating margin to continuous pressure on freight and fuel costs. However , it said the optimisation of fuel mix and other initiatives helped in capping costs.
During FY14, total sales volume for cement and clinker stood at 41.47 million tonne compared to 40.65 mt in the previous fiscal. This helped the company to report net sales of R20,078 crore, up from R20,023 crore, despite the fall in net realisation.
The company plans to infuse R10,000 crore for capex — it aims to add 11 mtpa of further capacity by 2015.