Maintaining its capacity utilisation of saleable steel production at 104%, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) ended the financial year 2004-05 with a record breaking performance in production and sales. This assumed a special significance in view of the coking coal crisis that throttled production of saleable steel by 11% during the first half of the fiscal ’05. For the first time, the company’s turnover for 2004-05 is all set to cross Rs 30,000 crore for any fiscal. The audited financial results of the company for FY ’05 will be announced in May 2005.
- Likely record turnover of Rs 30,000 crore
- Record finished steel production of 9.28 MT; 5%growth
- Highest-ever domestic sales of 10.3 MT; 8%growth
- Interest charges reduced by Rs 300 crore
Faced with the crisis of coal shortage, the company revised its strategy with a focus on optimising production of value-added products through the continuous casting (CC) route. Record finished steel production at 9.28 million tonnes (MT) with a growth of 5% over the previous year, record CC production of 7.53 MT (4% growth) and highest-ever CC ratio of 64% in total crude steel as against 61% in 2003-04 are some of the key production highlights. The proportion of finished steel in total production during 2004-05 went up to 84% from a level of 80% achieved during 2003-04 thereby reducing the proportion of semis.
Impressive growth was achieved in some of value added product categories – 15% in production of plates, 8% in bars & rounds, 7% in rails and 38% in wheels & axels.
Besides, the company achieved best-ever overall energy consumption of 7.28 giga calories per tonne of crude steel with a reduction of 2% over the previous year. The coke rate recorded the lowest ever figure at 536 kg per tonne of hot metal with a reduction of 1% over 2003-04.
Reflecting on the record-breaking performance, SAIL Chairman Mr. V.S. Jain commented: “Our continued enhanced performance proves that we are now well set on the path of sustained growth supported by internal strength. If the year 2003-04 was a year of turnaround for SAIL, the year 2004-05 marked a new beginning of sustained growth. This has been possible due to the dedicated support of employees.”
The surge in production was supported by highest-ever sales of steel in the domestic market during the period. At 10.3 MT, SAIL achieved a growth of 8% in the domestic sales over the previous year. The company made conscious efforts to make more steel available in the country by containing exports of steel at 4 lakh tonnes as against the 11-lakh tonnes shipped during 2003-04.
The company’s thrust on enhancing revenue from value-added products paid rich dividends as substantial growth was recorded in domestic sales of plates (32%), HR coils (8%), TMT (30%), wheels & axles (33%) and heavy structurals (20%). Sales of special steel crossed the 1 MT level for the first time during 2004-05, recording a growth of 31% over the previous year. The company supplied 7.3 lakh tonnes of rails to the Indian Railways, 5% higher than the volume of 2003-04. SAIL’s supply to the railways also included long rails measuring up to 78 metres in length.
Having announced the highest ever profit of Rs 2,512 crore for 2003-04, the company further consolidated its financial strength by reducing its borrowings by Rs 2,800 crore, leading to interest charges coming down by Rs 300 crore, during the just-concluded financial year.
The company’s labour productivity rose by 4% to the level of 142 tonnes per man per year.