New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Metals and mining giant Vedanta Ltd Thursday reported a 25.54 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,574 crore for the December 2018 quarter, on the back of higher expenses and drop in commodity prices. Also Read - LIVE CRICKET SCORE Ind vs Aus 4th Test Day 5 Today's Match Live Updates Gabba, Brisbane: Pujara, Gill Solid After Rohit Dismissal

It had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 2,114 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal, the company said in a filing to the BSE. Also Read - Lionel Messi Ban: Barcelona Star Could be Suspended For 12 Games Following Red-Card in Spanish Super Cup Final

The net profit is “after taxes, non-controlling interests and share in profit of jointly controlled entities and associates but before exceptional items.” However, the consolidated income of the company increased to Rs 25,067 crore in the quarter, over Rs 24,842 crore in the year-ago period. Also Read - Brisbane Weather Forecast For 4th Test Day 5: Will Rain Play Spoilsport During India vs Australia Match at The Gabba, Start Time, Match Predictions

The company’s consolidated total expenses increased to Rs 21,589 crore, from Rs 20,456 crore a year ago.

In a separate statement, the company announced the appointment of Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan as a whole-time director and the chief executive officer (CEO), effective March 1.

Venkatakrishnan is the CEO and a member of the board of directors of Vedanta Resources Ltd, the holding company, since August 31, 2018.

On the results, he said: “We are pleased with the strong operational and financial results for the third quarter. We achieved record zinc and lead MIC volumes and silver production at Hindustan Zinc, and had the highest-ever alumina production.” “We saw structural reductions in aluminium costs with increasing raw material linkages. The steel business achieved strong margins and recent developments in our copper business are directionally positive. Our profitability and gearing metrics were strong,” he said.

He said the company’s ramp-up plans were all on track, to set the next quarter as a base for a strong next year.

On Electrosteel Steels’ output, Venkatakrishnan said during a conference call: “We have already achieved our medium-term target to ramp up to about 1.5 million tonne per annum and are focusing on the next stage of expansion.” Last year, metal and mining giant Vedanta acquired the management control of Electrosteel Steels following the insolvency proceedings.

On Vedanta-owned Sterlite Copper’s plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, he said that after the favourable Supreme Court verdict, the company is working with the communities and relevant stakeholders to expedite the opening of the plant.

In a statement, the company said its revenue was higher four per cent sequentially primarily on account of higher volume at Zinc India and aluminium business and currency depreciation though was partially offset by lower commodity price.

“On a sequential basis, Ebitda at Rs 5,953 crore was 13 per cent higher mainly on account of higher volume at Zinc India and Electrosteel, supported by currency depreciation and write-back of liability pursuant to settlement agreement with a contractor at Balco. This was partially offset by lower commodity prices,” it said.

The depreciation, it said, at Rs 2,207 crores was higher by Rs 276 crore quarter-on-quarter, mainly on account of higher charge due to higher ore production at Zinc India and Zinc International and due to capitalisation of projects at oil and gas and aluminium business.

The finance cost during the quarter was Rs 1,358 crore, lower by Rs 120 crore q-o-q, mainly due to higher interest capitalisation during the quarter partially offset by interest cost on account of temporary borrowings at Zinc India.

As on December 31, 2018, the company said its net debt was at Rs 39,531 crore.

Vedanta Ltd, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Ltd, is one of the world’s leading diversified natural resource companies with business operations in India, South Africa, Namibia and Australia.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.