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SAIL's losses narrow to 7.32B Indian rupees in fiscal Q2

Steel Authority of India Ltd. posted a loss after tax of 7.32 billion Indian rupees in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, compared to a loss of 11.08 billion rupees a year ago.

The company recorded a loss in the period despite best-ever sales of 3.6 million tonnes in the second fiscal quarter, a 32% year-over-year jump.

According to the company, high global coal prices, higher interest and depreciation charges on account of capitalization of new assets affected the bottom line.

SAIL also recorded the highest-ever saleable steel production in the second fiscal quarter, improving 31% year over year to 3.5 million tonnes, it said Dec. 8.

SAIL's gross turnover in the second fiscal quarter stood at 124.31 billion rupees, increasing 22% over the year-ago period.

EBITDA for the three months stood in the positive at 1.80 billion rupees, compared to 8.29 billion rupees in the negative in the year-ago quarter.

In the first half of fiscal 2017, the April to September period, the company registered an 18% growth in sales, a 20% improvement in saleable steel production, and a 12.7% improvement in market share.

In early December, SAIL reportedly said it will double the production capacity of its Bolani iron ore mine in the eastern Indian state of Odisha to 10 million tonnes per annum over the next four years, from the current capacity of 5 Mtpa.

As of Dec. 8, US$1 was equivalent to 67.42 Indian rupees.