New Delhi, 28th September, 2021: Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) held its 49th Annual General Meeting today through the virtual platform. Attending the meeting from the Company’s headquarters situated at Lodi Road, New Delhi, Smt. Soma Mondal, Chairman, SAIL addressed the shareholders on this occasion.
The Chairman underlined some of the important events / highlights of SAIL for the Company’s shareholders. Describing FY’21 as the year of ‘Growth and Scaling newer heights’ for SAIL, she said SAIL posted its highest ever EBITDA of Rs 13740 Crore which was higher by ~23% over CPLY. The factors which helped improve profitability included higher sales of secondary products, sale of iron ore fines, lower usage of other raw materials, improvement in techno-economic parameters, benefit in stores and spares expenses, decreased purchased power rates, reduction in interest charges, higher dividend income and forex exchange gain among others. The Profit Before Tax (PBT) of the company stood highest in the last ten years. The company’s borrowings came down to Rs 35350 Crore with a reduction of more than Rs 16000 Crore consequently improving the debt-equity ratio to 0.87 on 31.03.2021 vis-à-vis 1.36 as on 31.03.2020.
Citing the various challenges faced by the Company due to the ongoing COVID19 Pandemic, the shareholders were informed about the measures taken by the Company to counter the impact of this pandemic. Taking pro-active actions, the Company reworked its plans and strategies to sustain all round activities. Outlining some of those, she said, SAIL made optimal utilization of the operational facilities instead of operating greater number of facilities at sub-optimal level. Along with reduction in cost by reducing consumption level for various inputs, the capital repairs were also pre-poned wherever feasible. In these trying times, the company maximized sales volumes through potential channels like exports, dispatch to Railways while it reduced cash outflows by reviewing commitments and renegotiating contracts among others.
She added that not only did the Company focussed on continuing its operations with minimum disruptions, but also ensured this was achieved without compromising the safety of employees and population in the nearby areas. In fact, the Company was a front-runner in partnering the Nation in its fight against Covid-19 Pandemic. She informed the shareholders about the scaled response activated by SAIL for management of Covid-19 outbreak across all locations of its presence. In the address, the various initiatives undertaken by SAIL were highlighted:
- Development of Medical infrastructure for handling CoVID-19 pandemic as well as augmenting these facilities during the second wave. SAIL hospitals at 5 integrated steel plant locations initially earmarked 10% or 330 beds out of the total beds for CoVID-19 patients which was subsequently augmented to 1000 dedicated CoVID-19 beds with oxygen support
- Setting up covid care units with facilities of gaseous oxygen direct supplied from the plants at various plant locations
- Developing CoVID-19 testing facilities like RAT, RTPCR, TRU-NAT at SAIL hospitals in coordination with respective State Governments
- Other initiatives to handle the surge of Covid-19 infection included supply of more than 1 Lakh Metric Tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) till date to the different states.
Talking on the growth plans of the Company, Smt. Mondal told the shareholders that with the improved leverage position, the company is ready to move into the next phase of expansion.
It may be mentioned here that since inception SAIL has been contributing to nation building by supplying steel ranging from big projects of national significance and strategic importance to smallest of the retail consumers. During FY’21, SAIL effected supplies to projects like Katra to Banihal Tunnel project, BRTF Leh-Ladakh project, Leh Airport, Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation, Lower Subansiri Hydel project in Assam, Agartala – Akhura Rail link project in Tripura among others.
The shareholders were informed about the regular initiatives being taken by SAIL to increase its presence in different areas by targeting defined market segments. The company is also expanding the 2-Tier and 1-Tier distribution network across the country to strengthen its retail presence.