India's NALCO tops Q4 profit estimates on lower input costs

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's National Aluminium Company (NALCO) reported fourth-quarter profit above estimates on Monday, helped by lower costs of key raw materials including thermal coal and bauxite.

Its consolidated profit before exceptional items and tax came in at 9.43 billion rupees (about $114 million) for the three months ended March 31, above analysts' average estimate of 6.38 billion rupees as per LSEG data.

NALCO incurred an exceptional cost of 4.27 billion rupees in the quarter, related to legal mining lease royalty payment to the government.

The state-owned firm's expenses were kept in check by lower prices of thermal coal and bauxite - key material for aluminium production, as it opted to source more domestic coal and bauxite in the quarter.

Its overall expenses fell to 27.20 billion rupees from 31.61 billion a year ago owing to a 22% decline in raw material costs.

Meanwhile, revenue from operations fell 2.5% to 35.79 billion rupees.

Lower costs were offset by a plunge in aluminium prices. The benchmark three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange averaged $2,241 a metric ton in January-March this year, down 8.2% from the same period in 2023.

Last week, rival Hindalco reported fourth-quarter profit above estimates on lower costs.

Shares of NALCO, a Nifty metal index constituent rose 16% in the quarter, compared with a 3.5% rise in the index.

($1 = 83.1020 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)