ACC, part of the world cement major LafargeHolcim, has posted a decline of 9 per cent in its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended March 31 at Rs 211 crore against Rs 232 crore in the previous corresponding quarter.
The company's consolidated net sales grew about 7.8 per cent to Rs 3,108 crore compared to Rs 2,884 crore last year.
After demonetisation, sales had been impacted during the October-December quarter. However, in the quarter under review, there was an uptick in demand, resulting in better sales. During the quarter, ACC sold 6.6 million tonnes of cement, a rise of 3.8 per cent against 6.36 million tonnes last year in the same quarter.
The decline in profitability was on the back of hardening of prices of raw materials such as petcoke, coal and freight.
“There was a shortfall in regular availability of fly ash, a part of which was procured over longer leads entailing higher transportation costs,” said ACC.
“Cement volumes during the first quarter showed growth of 4 per cent (year-on-year) as the impact of demonetisation declined and benefits were delivered from ongoing customer excellence initiatives and higher sales from the expanded capacity at the Jamul and Sindri plants," ACC added.
Further, the ready mix concrete (RMC) too grew 8 per cent. This was mainly driven by a steady increase in the sale of value-added products.
Neeraj Akhoury, managing director and CEO, ACC, said, "We continue to build our specialised building products segment, while investing in new capacity at our Jamul plant, which is now fully commissioned and (is) able to meet customer needs in the eastern region of the country."
In its outlook, ACC is of the view that increased government spending on infrastructure development, housing, roads, railways, irrigation and other schemes are expected to reinvigorate the construction sector and boost demand for cement and concrete during 2017.