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Hi Tech Carbon: Quarterly Carbon Black Sales Volumes Down 39%

On January 29, 2009, Aditya Birla Nuvo reported its results for the quarter ended December 31, 2008 (Q3 FY 2008/09). The company posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 156.44 crore for the quarter, compared with the net profit of Rs 30.17 crore in the previous corresponding quarter. The company’s consolidated net sales grew 17 per cent to Rs 3,429 crore for the reporting quarter, compared to Rs 2,931.1 crore.

The carbon black business, Hi Tech Carbon, saw revenues decline by 10% during the quarter to Rs 221.9 crore, compared to Rs 245.3 crore, though revenues for the nine months ended December 31, 2008 were up 44% (at Rs 857.5 crore) compared to the comparable period a year earlier (when revenues totaled Rs 596.8 crore). The carbon black unit reported a standalone loss of Rs 20.1 crore for the quarter, compared to a standalone operating profit of Rs 43.2 crore in the comparable quarter. Quarterly production of carbon black declined 34% (to 38,589 tonnes), based on a 39% decline in sales volumes (to 36,831 tonnes). As a result, capacity utilization fell to 67.1% during the quarter, down from 101.6% during the same quarter last year.

The company remains committed to its new greenfield carbon black plant in Patalganga, India, and has placed orders for “long delivery period” equipment, though startup may be delayed. With regard to the plant, the presentation accompanying the results states, “Project activities will be aligned to match commencement of production with the demand revival.”

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