ACC Q4 sales growth of 14% lifts margins

Cement maker ACC reported a 14% increase in its sales for the March quarter, boosted by an 8% increase in cement volumes and a 16% jump in ready mix volumes.

Lifted by the top line growth, margins improved across the board, lifting net profit by 18.5% to Rs 250 cr for the Jan-Mar period.

Sales rose to Rs 3,557 cr from 3,108 cr for the same three months last year.

Operating profit (EBITDA) also jumped 18% to Rs 492 cr.

Cement sales rose to 7.11 mln tons from 6.6 mln tons, while ready mix volumes increased to 0.84 mln cubic meters from 0.72 mln cubic meters last year.

The company, controlled by Swiss major Holcim, said the growth was attributable to its focus on “premium products and consumer solutions.”

On the negative side, a rise in energy and slag prices adversely impacted operating costs during the current quarter as compared to the same quarter a year ago, the company said.

“Despite a challenging external environment, cost savings were achieved through sustained improvement in operational efficiencies, optimization and robust control on fixed costs,” it said.

It added that it expects construction activity to pick up in the rest of the calendar year due to increased government spending on infrastructure development including roads and railways, housing and other schemes announced in the Union Budget.

CEO Neeraj Akhoury said the numbers reflected the company’s focus on innovation, operational improvements and customized solutions. ” We are on a clear growth trajectory,” he claimed.