Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) achieved 28% growth in net profit of the company at Rs. 1,443 crore in Q2 (July-September) of the current financial year over the corresponding period last year (CPLY). This helped the company to achieve highest-ever first-half net profit of Rs. 2,829 crore, a growth of 26% over CPLY. The Q2 turnover at Rs. 9,586 crore represented a growth of 17% over CPLY. The company recorded best-ever H1 production and sales figures, achieving a turnover of Rs. 17,998 crore, a growth of 22% over CPLY. SAIL’s unaudited financial results for April-September of 2006-07 were taken on record by the company’s Board of Directors here this morning.
During the first six months of 2006-07, SAIL achieved highest-ever saleable steel production of 6.01 million tonnes – 6% higher over CPLY. This included production growth of 12% achieved by the three special steel plants of SAIL. The company recorded an average capacity utilisation of 108% during H1. During the period, SAIL recorded substantial growth in production of value-added products like Pipes (67%), Bars & Rods (19%), Hot Rolled Coils (13%), CRNO (12%), Plates (11%), etc.
Achievements of the company during April-September 2006 included production of 4 million tonnes of steel through continuous casting route – a growth of 7% over CPLY. SAIL also reduced its manpower by over 2,200 during the period.
SAIL’s performance in H1 of FY 2006-07 was supported by highest-ever sales of 5.4 million tonnes, a growth of 15% over CPLY. Of this, 5.1 million tonnes (14.7% growth) were sold in the domestic market. The company also enhanced exports by 24% by shipping 0.3 million tonnes of steel during the period.
SAIL’s borrowings were reduced to a level of Rs. 3,882 crore as on 30.9.2006 as against Rs. 4,000 crore on 30.6.2006. With this the company’s debt-equity ratio further improved to 0.25:1, in comparison to 0.29:1 achieved on 30.6.2006.
During the day, the SAIL Board also accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for five new projects at a total investment of around Rs. 700 crore. Of these, two projects are for Bhilai Steel Plant – ‘Installation of 650 tonnes per day Air Separation Unit’ at Oxygen Plant-II and ‘Installation of Electro-Magnetic Stirrer in Bloom Caster’ at SMS-II. Besides, a new Coke Oven Gas Holder will be installed at Rourkela Steel Plant. SAIL has also approved installation of one new turbo-blower in Bokaro Steel Plant’s Turbo-Blower Station and modernisation & capacity enhancement of Durgapur Steel Plant’s Merchant Mill. With this, total ‘in-principle’ project approvals during the current fiscal have exceeded Rs. 14,000 crore and projects for about Rs. 19,000 crore are under various stages of implementation.
With a view to reaching its quality and branded steel products to the hinterland, SAIL has planned to appoint authorised dealers in all the 603 districts of the country. During H1, the company has appointed dealers in 430 new districts. Now out of 638 dealers appointed by SAIL, 228 belong to SC/ST category compared to 25 as on 31st March, 2006. SAIL is developing model steel villages near its five integrated steel plants.
Responding to the record-breaking H1 performance of the company, Chairman, Mr. S.K. Roongta said: "SAIL has maintained sustained growth and profitability. While implementing our growth plans for future, there will be special thrust on utilising the current potential of our human resource and other assets to the fullest extent."