No profit, no gain for SAIL
By A Business Correspondent
Unless the fortunes of the steel industry change for the better Steel Authority of India Ltd, India's steel major, may soon become a sick company. The company posted a Rs 1,707 crore loss during 2001-02, which is more than twice the previous year's loss of Rs 729 crore. Though SAIL achieved 5.7 per cent growth in volumes, pressure on margins had its impact on the bottom line. Out of its seven units only Bhilai and Bokaro units posted profits while the other unit fared badly.
SAIL transferred its captive power unit to a separate joint venture company which helped it to reduce its loss slightly. The heavy loss has affected its capex programme. During the year under review the company spent only Rs 2,718 crore capital expenditure, which is Rs 178 less than the previous year's figure.
However, with steel prices are firming up SAIL is confident of turning the corner in the first quarter of the current year itself.