Chennai, Feb 12 (PTI) Cement manufacturer, The India Cements Ltd Tuesday expected the company’s performance to be “substantially” better during the fourth quarter following a rise in capacity utilisation in Oct-Dec 2018 quarter, a top company official said.

“I feel the worst is over for the cement industry. I see price discipline now in the market and I believe it will stay,” company Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, N Srinivasan said.

He expected the performance of India Cements Ltd to be “substantially” better in fourth quarter of current fiscal following the rise in capacity utilisation which was at 76 per cent in third quarter of last year.

India Cements Monday reported a 79.46 per cent decline in its standalone net profit at Rs 3.13 crore for the quarter ending December 31, 2018, as against Rs 15.24 crore registered corresponding period of last fiscal.

Total income during the period under review was up 8.53 per cent at Rs 1,320.57 crore, as against Rs 1,216.75 crore recorded in corresponding period of previous fiscal.

Total expenses of the city-based company stood at Rs 1,317.44 crore upby 9.64 per cent from Rs 1,201.51 crore registered year ago.

On the company’s strategy, he said, the focus would be on the core market – South and Maharashtra. Southern region was clocking a robust growth of 20 per cent, he said.

“Sale of cement in other regions will depend on price and realisation”, he said.

In his response to Tamil Nadu government’s decision to raise the floor space index for residential buildings, he said, “any such measure will act as a stimulus for further increase in cement consumption”.

“It will lead to more construction activities in Chennai though development of satellite townships is good in the long term to ease the pressure on existing infrastructure”, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.