Exide plans Rs.1.8 bn investment this year (Lead)

July 25th, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 25 (IANS) The country’s largest lead acid battery manufacturer, Exide Industries Ltd, plans to invest Rs.1.8 billion in the current fiscal in the automotive and industrial segments, a top company official said here Friday. “We will invest Rs.1.8 billion in this fiscal, out of which Rs.900 million will be in the automotive segment and Rs.600 million in the industrial segment,” Exide managing director and chief executive T.V. Ramanathan told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual general meeting.

“We will raise the capacity of both automotive and industrial segments by 15 to 20 percent this fiscal,” he added.

The company is eyeing volume growth of 15 to 20 percent this fiscal, Ramanathan said.

He said despite the cost of lead, the principal component in battery manufacturing, going up by 52 percent this year, the company not increased price of its products. However, it would considering hiking battery prices if the price of lead crossed $2,500 a tonne.

At present, lead costs $2,200 per tonne.

Last November, Exide acquired a 100 percent stake in Tandon Metals Ltd, a lead smelting unit in Pune, and last month acquired majority shareholding in Leadage Alloys India Ltd, another lead smelter company, near Bangalore.

These acquisitions would help the company meet 70-80 percent of its lead requirement for the coming three to four years, he added. The rest would have to be imported.

Ramanathan said submarine batteries would remain one of Exide’s focus areas this fiscal. It supplies submarine batteries to Admiralty Yard, a Russian company.

Meanwhile, Exide Friday declared a 17 percent rise in net profit during the first quarter of the financial year 2008-09, compared to the corresponding quarter the previous financial year.

Exide has a 76 percent market-share in original equipment manufacturing (OEM) segment and 31 percent in replacement market.

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