The Aditya Birla Group flagship had clocked Rs 503 crore net profit in the same quarter of last fiscal.
Revenues from operations fell to Rs 6,164 crore in the second quarter compared to Rs 6,272 crore a year ago, the company said.
"Despite the continuing increase in input costs, the company has put out a better show. The successful ramp-up of smelter post-shutdown in first quarter at our copper plant also bolstered the results," Hindalco Managing Director D Bhattacharya told reporters here.
Despite poor numbers, investors were kind to the Hindalco counter, which recouped from nearly 3 per cent loss in intra-day to close at Rs 112.55, down 1.87 per cent, on the BSE whose main index gained 53 points today. In the run-up to the earnings, the share had shed over 3 per cent yesterday.
Bhattacharya cautioned that the general slowdown coupled, with the stubbornly high cost of inputs, may impact the business results of the company in the near future.
Hindalco produced 1.28 lakh tonne aluminium and 78,000 tonne copper during the quarter under review.
Lower finance costs and tax expenses at Rs 28 crore and Rs 88 crore, against Rs 68 crore and Rs 101 crore, respectively, from a year earlier, failed to spruce up the bottom line.
"Finance costs are lower for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 due to repayment of a loan carrying high interest rates," he said.
The company's key projects are into the last lap and depreciation and interest will depress net income in the coming quarters, he added.
The company's revenue from operations in the quarter under review was marginally higher on a sequential basis led by improved volumes in both its businesses.
Superior performance in the copper business more than off-set the headwinds faced by the aluminium business, leading to a better overall operational performance, Bhattacharya said, adding the profit was bolstered by other incomes to the tune of Rs 130 crore by way of dividends from subsidiaries.
Of the total revenue of Rs 6,164 crore, the aluminium business contributed Rs 2,105 crore. Sales were higher due to increased volume of value-added downstream products and better metal premium realised by the company, he said.
In the aluminium segment, results were impacted by operational disturbances in both smelters of the company. The firm, however, would continue to take proactive steps to extract maximum value from various drivers of its businesses,
he said, adding it is focused on successful implementation and commissioning of greenfield projects.
Bhattacharya said the Utkal Alumina project in Odisha will be commissioned soon and the Mahan plant in Madhya Pradesh is expected to produce first metal in coming months.
The financial closure for Aditya Aluminium has been achieved, he added.
"Hindalco signed a common loan agreement for Rs 9,896 crore on September 17 for its Aditya Aluminium project with a group of 28 banks/financial institutions. With this facility, the financial closure of Aditya Aluminium project has been achieved."
The capital employed in the aluminium business of the company stood at Rs 28,850 crore as of September end, which includes around Rs 19,300 crore relating to the greenfield projects, namely the Mahan, Hirakud Rolled and Aditya Aluminium Projects, Bhattacharya said.
Commenting on metal prices, he said the LME rates are still under pressure and tough time for aluminium industry may continue for a while.
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