Cement shares gain as ACC March quarter volume growth beat Street forecast

Cement worker
Shares of cement companies  rallied  up to 8% on the BSE after ACC reported a better than expected 3.8% year on year (YoY) volume growth for the quarter ended March 2017.

ACC, India Cements and Orient Cement have rallied more than 5%, while UltraTech Cement, Prism Cement, Ambuja Cement, Dalmia Bharat and HeidelbergCement India were up between 2% and 4%. On comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.52% at 29,516 at 11:52 am.

Among the individual stocks, ACC has rallied 7% to Rs 1,603 on back of four-fold jump in trading volumes.

“Cement volumes during the quarter showed growth as the impact of demonetization declined and benefits were delivered from ongoing customer excellence initiatives and higher sales from the expanded capacity at Jamul and Sindri plant,” ACC said in a press release.

The company said increased government spending on infrastructure development, housing, roads, railways, irrigation and other schemes as announced in the Union Budget are expected to reinvigorate the construction sector and boost demand for cement and concrete during 2017.

Management indicated that Infrastructure boost (primarily from road sector) has been supporting the demand growth. Further, there is a sizeable spurt in cement demand aided by "Housing for All" scheme in East. In ready mixed concrete (RMC) segment, ACC recorded 8% YoY volume growth driven by increase in sale of value added product.

The brokerage houses expecting cement sector  to report a volume dip YoY mainly on demonetisation-led slowdown and higher base in the previous year.

“Government thrust for affordable housing and rural economy should boost housing demand, and alongside investment on infrastructure development should aid cement volumes for Industry. We opine that cement is the best proxy play on India's infrastructure sector story, and given the news flows on cement price hikes and demand uptick, we believe cement stocks would continue to outperform the market,”  analyst at Antique Stock Broking said in report.

UltraTech Cement, which schedule to announce its March quarter results today, was up 3.5% at Rs 4,110.

ORIENT CEMENT 163.1 152.3 7.1
ACC 1597.0 1496.8 6.7
INDIA CEMENTS 200.6 188.1 6.7
PRISM CEMENT 109.3 104.6 4.5
ULTRATECH CEM. 4109.1 3968.8 3.5
AMBUJA CEM. 246.8 239.5 3.0
DALMIA BHAR. 2100.0 2049.0 2.5
HEIDELBERG CEM. 136.9 133.6 2.5
THE RAMCO CEMENT 689.0 676.3 1.9
JK LAKSHMI CEM. 474.3 467.6 1.4


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