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SAIL back in black

The Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has registered a net profit of Rs. 760 crores in the first half of the current fiscal against a loss of Rs. 467 crores during the corresponding period in 2002-03. But for the baggages of VISL, Salem and Alloy Steel, the profit could have been more as the four integrated steel plants recorded a net of Rs. 1385 crores.

Bhilai once again led the show with a profit of Rs. 874 crores followed by Bokaro Rs. 434 crores, Durgapur Rs. 77 crores and Rourkela a marginal Rs. 84 lakhs. Both Durgapur and Rourkela registered losses during the last fiscal.

The positive swing was mostly guided by higher value realisation due to rise in prices. The turnover had increased by 27 per cent to Rs. 10,412 crores. Sales volume grew by a steady 10 per cent to 4.4 million tonnes. Net sales realisation had gone up by 15 per cent.

Taking advantage of the falling interest rate regime the company had recast loans worth Rs. 1980 crores with a resulting reduction in interest by Rs. 200 crores. According to a company release issued today, the profit of the second quarter had touched an all time high of Rs. 505 crores which is almost double to the profits of the first quarter of 2003-04.

Overseas sales shot up from a mere 2.8 lakh tonnes to six lakh tonnes registering an export turnover of Rs. 800 crores during the first six months. With higher demand for plates in the Chinese market, the plate mill at Bhilai had turned the corner registering a 42 per cent growth in production. Pipes, electrical steel and tin plates, galvanised products, rails and HR coils have also registered significantly higher production.

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