Billionaire Birla’s UltraTech doubles profit

MUMBAI: UltraTech Cement Ltd doubled profit in the three months ended Dec 31 on sustained demand for housing, the company said in a statement.

Net income jumped to 15.8 billion rupees (US$217mil) from seven billion rupees a year earlier, beating analyst estimates, the unit of billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Aditya Birla Group said in an exchange filing Saturday. Sales rose 17% to 122.5 billion rupees.

“While rural and semi-urban housing continue to drive growth, a pick-up in government-led infrastructure aided incremental cement demand, ” the Mumbai-based company said in the statement. “Pent-up urban demand is expected to improve with the gradual return of the migrant workforce.”UltraTech has earmarked 54.77 billion rupees to spend on increasing capacity by 12.8 million tonnes a year through greenfield and brownfield projects in the east, central and northern parts of the country, it said. The expansion, which adds to the 6.7 million tonnes to be commissioned in the next fiscal year, will boost UltraTech’s total capacity to 136.25 million tonnes. — Bloomberg

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