Higher production and strong commodity prices helped Vedanta Ltd post a 43 per cent jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,036 crore for the July- September quarter.
"I think the main reason is higher production and also to some extent supported by high commodity prices. We saw high production in our zinc business, Zinc International business, aluminium, copper...," Vedanta CEO Kuldip Kaura said in a conference call.
The company had posted a consolidated net profit (after taxes, non-controlling interests and share in profit of jointly controlled entities and associates but before exceptional items) of Rs 1,424 crore in the same quarter last year, Vedanta Ltd said in a filing to the BSE.
"We are very pleased to report a very strong second quarter. Our PAT is up 41 per cent, EBITA is up 24 per cent compared to quarter two of last year. Consistent with our strategy to maintain a strong balance sheet, we also reduced our debt by around Rs 11,000 crore...," the CEO said.
Total income during the quarter increased to Rs Rs 22,466 crore, over Rs 18,154 crore in the year-ago period.
Of the about Rs 7,000 crore pan India investment in the ongoing fiscal, the company said a chunk would go into zinc business.
On the outlook for the aluminium business, Kaura said, "We will certainly ramp up our volumes in the aluminium business. As we go forward we will continue to commission our lines."
"Vedanta is extremely well positioned because of the 2.3 million tonnes of the capacity that we have currently under ramp up, biggest in India...So we believe (with) good commodity... (and) robust demand, Vedanta is in the right place to exploit the opportunity," Kumar explained.
The company is exploring iron ore opportunities in Jharkhand and if there is any value addition opportunity than it will be certainly taken up.
"We will continue to ramp up going forward in the second half in almost all our businesses," the company said.
Its revenue in the second quarter was higher 37 per cent (Y-o-Y) on higher volume at Copper India, Zinc India, Zinc International, ramp-up at aluminium business and higher commodity prices partially offset by currency appreciation, lower volumes at oil and gas.
"Depreciation at Rs 1,426 crore was lower on Y-o-Y basis by Rs 131 crore driven by lower depreciation at oil and gas business...," the company said in a statement.
The finance cost during the quarter was Rs 1,384 crore, lower by Rs 67 crore on Y-o-Y basis due to lower debt level on account of de-leveraging during the first half of FY18.
The financial position remains strong with cash and liquid investments of Rs 40,206 crore, the company said adding that its gross debt as on September 30 was at Rs 55,798 crore.
"As on September 30, 2017, gross debt was at Rs 55,798 crore including temporary short-term borrowings of Rs 593 crore at Zinc India and preference shares of Rs 3,010 crore issued pursuant to the Cairn merger," it added.
Its net debt as on September 30, 2017 was at Rs 15,592 crore on account of improved operating performance resulting in higher free cash flows.
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