Sterlite Industries, promoted by NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal, was hit hard by downtrend in metal prices and today reported a substantial 38 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 732.31 crore in the quarter ended December.
Its consolidated net profit for third quarter of the present fiscal stood at Rs 732.31 crore, a 37.76 per cent decline over the corresponding period a year ago.
The firm had a consolidated net profit of Rs 1,176.64 crore in the same period of the last financial year, Sterlite Industries said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Facing slackening demand for its products like aluminium, copper, zinc the parent firm had taken several measures like initiating a capital expenditure reduction programme by which it aimed to reduce its expenses $5.1 billion.
"We have recently started a temporary ramp down of production in BALCO plant, where operating costs are high and we sell surplus power from this unit to optimise returns," Sterlite Industries said in a statement.
On the aluminium business, the company added that its expects to commission first phase of 2,50,000 tonnes of the 5 TPA (tonnes per annum) Jharsuguda aluminium smelter by the end of FY 2009.
Sterlite Industries further said that the copper output for the period under review was flat at about 77,000 tonnes.
"The production was almost flat in Q3, primarily on account of an unplanned shutdown due to damage in the cooling tower in November 2008," it said.
Company's zinc business saw the production going up by 40 per cent to 166,539 tonnes for saleable metal in the third quarter of this fiscal against the year-ago period.