Chennai: Cement major The India Cements Ltd is on the verge of monetising about 1,000 acres in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli District, said a top company official. He also said the company will be taking steps to reduce its variable costs and debt this fiscal. The company closed FY24 with a net loss of Rs 188.22 crore (FY23 Profit Rs 38.98 crore) on a revenue of Rs 5,380.81 crore (Rs 4,713.11 crore).
Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday N.Srinivasan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director said the company has large land holdings in Tirunelveli District and is on the verge of monetising about 1,000 acres. He said negotiations are on with a land aggregator. Last year around this time, Srinivasan had said the company has about 26,000 acres in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and the surplus land will be monetised to cut down debt and for capex. Srinivasan also said the company is not in a distress sale mode.
On the plans to refurbish the plants in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana at an outlay of Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 1,600 crore Srinivasan said the consultant has submitted the report and it is being evaluated. With a basket of plants of various vintage and technology with varying operating parameters of power and fuel, the cost of production of cement for The India Cements is not at par with that of the competition. Srinivasan said first the company will reduce its production cost and then bring down the costs further to match that of the competition. He said the demand for cement is good and the company does not have any unsold stock.
The capacity utilisation of the plants is now at about 80 per cent up from about 73 per cent. Meanwhile The India Cements’ dismal performance in FY23 is due to the record increase in the cost of fuel and power which could not be compensated in the market due to supply overhang. This was compounded by one-off charges on account of the impairment of certain investments and advances amounting to about Rs 114 crore.
“This was to some extent compensated by the profit on the sale of investments. All these factors led to dismal performance for the quarter and the year ended 31st March’23,” the company said. The company has skipped the dividend declaration.