New Delhi, May 4 (PTI) Ambuja Cements today reported a 29.56 per cent increase in consolidated net profit to Rs 514.34 crore for the first quarter ended March 2018, helped by cost reduction and better capacity utilisation.Also Read - Niti Aayog Launches 'Shoonya' Program to Promote Zero-Pollution Delivery Vehicles

Part of the Swiss cement giant LafargeHolcim, the company had clocked a net profit of Rs 396.96 crore in January-March period a year-ago, Ambuja said in a BSE filing. Also Read - JDU MLA Trolled After He Was Spotted Roaming in Undergarments on Train, Claims 'Stomach Was Upset' | Watch

However, its total income was marginally down 0.93 per cent to Rs 6,545.91 crore during the period under review as against Rs 6,607.74 crore in the corresponding quarter of the last year. Also Read - Delhi Reports 97 Cases Of Dengue; 45 Malaria This Year; 27 Cases Reported Last Week

Ambuja Cements total expenses were down 5.05 per cent at Rs 5,790.43 crore, against Rs 6,098.71 crore.

It follows January to December as its financial year.

On a standalone basis, Ambuja Cements reported a rise of 10.12 per cent in standalone net profit at Rs 272 crore in the March quarter.

The company’s net sales rose to Rs 2,763 crore in the March quarter, from Rs 2,530 crore in the year-ago period.

“The topline growth of 9 per cent on a YoY basis is attributable to improved realisations and sales growth of premium brands – Compocem and Roof Special,” Ambuja Cements said in a statement.

Its sales volume also increased to 6.22 million tonnes in the March quarter, compared with 6.02 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

“During this quarter, the rise in global oil and energy prices drove up power and fuel costs and diesel prices which impacted freight costs. However, efficiencies improved,” it added.

Commenting on the results, Ambuja Cements MD and CEO Ajay Kapur said: “Our focus on reducing costs, improving productivity and increasing capacity utilisation backed by strong attention to the retail segment and robust sales from our premium value added products led to a strong quarter with 29 per cent EBITDA growth.” During the quarter, Ambuja Cements sales volume was up 3.32 per cent to 6.22 million tons in January-March quarter as against 6.02 million tons of the corresponding quarter.

Shares of Ambuja Cements today settled at Rs 236.95 apiece, down 1.46 per cent from the previous close.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.