DCM Shriram to slow down investments despite profits

June 3rd, 2009 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) Diversified business group DCM Shriram Wednesday said it would go slow on investments this fiscal despite posting a net profit of Rs.369.23 crore, as compared to the Rs.209.99 crore it posted last year, an increase of 75.83 percent.
“We are not looking at any major capex this year, given the still uncertain economic environment,” chairman and senior managing director of DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd (DSCL) Ajay S. Shriram told IANS.

“We plan to spend about Rs.70-75 crore this year, mainly on plant maintenance activities. We would rather concentrate on optimising our assets across sectors.”

The company, which saw its net operating income grow 35.94 percent to Rs.3,416.16 crore from Rs.2,513.63 crore, also added about 160 stores under its rural retail venture “Hariyali Kissan Bazaar” in the last fiscal.

“We won’t add stores at the same pace that we did earlier. Rather, we will concentrate on increasing the number of offerings and increasing footfalls. That said, we will add in places where there is a need to augment our presence,” Shriram said.

He also attributed the surge in net profit mainly to a turnaround in its sugar business, saying: “Sugar business had done better this year (2008-09), which contributed to our profits.”

The company also added a new revenue stream in the fiscal under review - sale of surplus power from its captive power plants to the grid.

“We generated about Rs.90 crore by selling power to the grid from our captive plants,” Shriram said.

Shriram, who was elected president of the International Fertiliser Association (IFA) - a non-profit organisation representing global fertiliser industries - said he also wanted the government to come out with a clear policy for the fertiliser industry.

“For the last 10 years, fertiliser units have been suffering because we have to underwrite the high subsidies to farmers but the government delays in reimbursing us,” he said.

“We want the government to come out with a long term policy on fertilisers and deal with issues like payment delays.”

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