India's Orient Cement posts Q4 profit rise

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's Orient Cement reported a higher fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by an increase in sales volume.


While strong infrastructure and real estate demand benefitted Indian cement makers in the past few quarters, analysts estimate a softer demand in the first half of fiscal 2025 due to general elections and a likely healthy monsoon.

In the seasonally strong January-March quarter, cement makers resorted to aggressive discounts to meet fiscal-end volume targets amid tough competition, triggering a roughly 5% decline in cement prices sequentially to a two-year low.


The company's net profit rose 1.2% to 682 million rupees ($8.2 million) in the quarter ended March.

Revenue from operations climbed 1.4% to 8.88 billion rupees, its slowest growth since September-quarter 2022 due to lower prices.

Total expenses were up 0.4%, mainly led by higher fuel costs, packing and freight expenses.


(Figures in percentage)


The Aditya Birla group, which owns India's top cement producer UltraTech Cement, is reportedly in advanced talks to buy the top shareholder's stake in Orient Cement.

The deal, if goes through, will boost the group's market share in central, western and southern regions of the country.

As of March, top shareholders - C K Birla, family and affiliated firms - held nearly 38% stake in Orient Cement.

($1 = 83.4620 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Hritam Mukherjee and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng)