India's JK Lakshmi Cement Q4 profit rises on cost control measures

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's JK Lakshmi Cement on Thursday reported a 46.3% rise in its fourth-quarter profit, as a tighter lid on costs helped cushion the impact from a revenue drop amid lower cement prices.

The company's net profit after tax (PAT) stood at 1.42 billion rupees ($17.1 million) compared to 973.2 million rupees a year ago.

The total expenses dropped 10.4% compared with the previous year, helped by lower fuel, transport and employee costs.

Meanwhile, revenue from operations fell 4.7% to 16.48 billion rupees hurt by volumes dropping 4.3%.

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KEY CONTEXT

To stave off tough competition and meet fiscal year-end volume targets, Indian cement makers unveiled discounts in the January-March period which had led prices across the country on average to drop to two-year lows on an annualized basis.

A lid on costs also helped rival India Cements to narrow its loss, while Adani-owned Ambuja Cements and south India-focused rival Ramco Cements missed their respective Q4 profit estimates.

PEER COMPARISON

Valuation (next Estimates Analysts' sentiment

12 months) (next 12

months)

RIC PE EV/EBIT Revenue Mean # of Stock to

DA growth(%) rating analysts price target

JK Lakshmi Cement 15.50 8.04 11.79 BUY 11 0.84

Ltd

India Cements Ltd 56.41 16.63 6.90 SELL 5 1.20

Ramco Cements 26.32 11.33 10.66 HOLD 20 0.77

Limited

Nuvoco Vistas 35.58 8.43 6.05 BUY 18 0.82

Corporation Ltd

* Mean of analysts' ratings standardised to a scale of Strong Buy, Buy, Hold, Sell, and Strong Sell

** Ratio of the stock's last close to analysts' mean price target; a ratio above 1 means the stock is trading above the PT

JANUARY-MARCH STOCK PERFORMANCE

-- All data from LSEG

-- $1 = 83.2275 Indian rupees

(Reporting by Anisha Ajith and Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Vijay Kishore)