UltraTech Cement quarterly profit falls 38% as expenses surge



India’s top cement maker, UltraTech Cement, reported a 38% decrease in quarterly profit on Saturday, dented by a surge in expenses.

Profit for the three months through December fell to ₹10.62 billion ($131.2 million) from ₹17.10 billion the same period a year earlier, UltraTech said in an exchange filing.

Expenses surged to ₹141.23 billion from ₹114.22 billion.

Competition is rising in India’s cement industry, with manufacturers increasing capacity to stave off the sector’s newest entrant, the Adani Group.

Costs of petcoke and coal stabilised in the quarter from their highs and will moderate this quarter and beyond, setting cement producers up for a better 2023 after a lacklustre 2022, analysts say.

Rising government spending, a recovery in the rural economy on a pickup in farm incomes and pre-sales of housing real estate should also help the industry recover.

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