Chennai, July 28 (PTI): Cement manufacturer The India Cements Ltd today reported a standalone net profit at Rs 26.44 crore for the quarter ending June 30, 2017 owing to poor demand.Also Read - 'Cremated' by Civic Officials 16 Months Ago, Rotten COVID Bodies Found at Hospital Morgue in Bengaluru

Net profits for the city-headquartered company stood at Rs 43.98 crore during corresponding period of last year. Also Read - Is Karnataka Mulling To Impose Another Covid Lockdown? CM Basavaraj Bommai Clears Air, This is What He Said

Declaring the annual results, company Vice-Chairman and Managing Director N Srinivasan said that in the last six years, the cement industry was hit by low growth and manufacturing units in the South were forced to operate at 68 per cent, compared to 80 per cent in the North. Also Read - Sample of 1 Person Who Tested Covid Positive at Bengaluru Airport Different From Delta: Karnataka Health Minister

“I lost volume in the Tamil Nadu market. Business of cement has become much more taxing (following GST)”, he told reporters.

Noting that the current year was a “crucial” period for the cement industry, he said economic activity has to be revived to create demand for cement and achieve better capacity utilisation. “We are looking for stimulus to propel growth”.

“Severe shortage of river sand in Tamil Nadu resulted in lower demand for cement during the period (April-June 30, 2017 quarter)”, he said.

Total revenue from operations during the quarter under review grew 21.64 per cent to Rs 1,466.75 crore from Rs 1,205.72 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

The company’s total expenses rose 25.70 per cent to Rs 1,426.32 crore as against Rs 1,134.69 crore earlier.

Financials for the quarter ending June 30, 2017 and for the quarter and year ending March 31, 2017 include those of merged entities of Trinetra Cement Ltd and Trishul Concrete Products.

The figures for the corresponding quarter of previous financial year June 30 2016, does not consider those of merged entities.

Overall sales during the quarter ending June 30, 2017, including export of clinker and cement, was 26.56 lakh tonnes.

Sounding optimistic that the “worst (period in cement industry) was behind”, Srinivasan said that economic activity has to be revived to create a demand for cement and achieve better capacity utilisation.

“We expect the coming quarters to be much better. We see signs of pick up in demand in Tamil Nadu.”, he said.

Given the infrastructure schemes in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, he said there would be improvement in the industry.

“We also see good growth in other markets. Maharashtra and Karnataka are implementing a lot of concrete road projects while Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are implementing big lift irrigation, river dam and housing projects”, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.