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JSPL to sell non-core assets as Q2 net loss widens

New Delhi: Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) on Saturday reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 617.94 crore for the quarter ended September 2015 on account of impairment loss of Rs 226.82 crore in Australia and forex hit of Rs 212.60 crore. In a bid to cut its debt burden, the firm will sell some of its non-core assets by the end of this fiscal.

It is the second consecutive quarter that the integrated steel and power producer has posted a net loss. In the April- June quarter of this fiscal, JSPL posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 339.26 crore.

The Naveen Jindal-led firm had clocked a net profit of Rs 441.83 crore in the year-ago period, it said in a BSE filing.

Total consolidated income of the company fell by 8.5% to Rs 4,707.49 crore in the July-September quarter of this fiscal from Rs 5,243.09 crore during the same quarter of 2014-15 fiscal.

Total expenses of the firm were higher at Rs 4,231.44 crore from Rs 4,253.37 crore during the quarter under review.

In a statement, JSPL said: “Exceptional losses impacted consolidated profit after tax (PAT) on account of impairment of overseas fixed assets (Australia) and foreign exchange variations attributable to sharp depreciation of Australian Dollar.”

Consolidated turnover declined due to “subdued Middle East markets”, it added.

“Exceptional item in consolidated financial results for the current quarter comprises Rs 226.82 crore being provision for impairment loss of fixed assets in one of the overseas subsidiary as on March 31, 2015 and foreign exchange variation of Rs 212.60 crore attributable to the sharp depreciation of Australian Dollar in the current quarter,” the filing said.

Its crude steel production grew by 11% to 1.03 million tonnes (MT) in September quarter this fiscal compared to the year-ago period, while steel sales (exclusive captive) rose by 10% to 0.97 MT during the same period.

The firm generated 2,728 million units of power in the July-September quarter. Its capacity stands at 3400 MW.

On outlook, JSPL said with the government’s emphasis on infrastructural spending, easing of monetary policy by RBI and general pick up in industrial activity, steel consumption is expected to grow in the coming quarters.

“With increased availability and declining iron ore prices, cost of steel production should come down. Auctioning of iron ore mines by Odisha state should help us in further securing our iron ore requirements,” it added.

The reforms in the power sector initiated by the Centre to reduce the debt burden of discoms will also have a positive impact on the sector and will help power producers sell more electricity, it said.

Besides, it said: “Sale of non-core assets as identified by the company — Aircraft sale, Bolivia settlement and Botswana stake sale — are proceeding as per plan and we expect these transactions to be completed in 2015-16 fiscal.”