“Our sales volume has gone up by about 24.5 per cent to 2.9 million tonnes in Q3 of the current fiscal compared to that in same quarter of the previous financial year. Our cost of imported coal was much lower in Q3 this year as compared to last year’s,” Steel Authority of India CMD S K Roongta told reporters.
He further added that low base effect also contributed to almost 99 per cent increase in profit. The firm had a net profit of Rs 843.34 crore during the October-December 2008.
Roongta also anticipated a hike in steel prices due to pressure on input cost.
“If the contracted rates for coal for the next financial year are higher than 2008-09’s, it will exert pressure on input cost and may lead to increase in prices,” he added. SAIL pays over US$ 100 a tonne this fiscal to companies from which it is importing coal. In 2008-09, SAIL had bought coking coal at a contracted rate of about US$ 300 a tonne. SAIL is undertaking a massive Rs 70,000-crore expansion to take capacity to 23.2 million tonnes from the 14 million tonnes now. The state-run company is planning a Rs 12,000- 13,000 crore capital expenditure in the next financial year.
“Though we have not yet arrived at a figure, we can have a capital expenditure of 12,000-13,000 crore.”