Saturday, August 19, 2017

SAIL prepares revival strategy

STEEL giant Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is preparing a turnaround strategy in the face of widening losses. The Maharatna PSU is planning to set an operating profit target for the next two to three years and has vowed to work towards optimising manpower utilisation, exploring ways to increase net sales realisation and reduce procurement costs, and improving branding and distribution efforts.
The efforts come after it posted yet another quarter of net losses. It incurred losses to the tune of Rs 801 crore in the three months through June...
from Rs 535 crore a year earlier. SAIL reported a loss of Rs 2,833 crore for the year ended March 31, 2017.
Chairman PK Singh, along with top officials including finance director Anil Chaudhary and projects and business planning director G Vishwakarma, discussed the imperatives and challenges before the company while interacting with with its 750-odd employees at the Bhilai Steel Plant over the weekend. The top management will carry out similar exercise across SAIL offices and units. The PSU also announced these measures.
According to the roadmap for revival, SAIL has decided to focus on prudent finance management to bring down finance costs, while targeting a reduction in operating cost of old and new assets and overhead expenditure. SAIL, which recently spent Rs 70,000 crore on modernisation and expansion and so is facing higher interest and depreciation charges, will give top priority to ramping up production from the new and modernised units. Completing work on the remaining projects at the earliest will be another focus area. “All the plants of the company have newer and better technologies at their disposal which must be judiciously utilised and its full potential should be realised. Market conditions are volatile and we have to adapt to them fast, matching the world standards,” Singh told staff at Bhilai. “We have to push ourselves more for better results.”
Singh said the expansion of Indian Railways presents good prospects for SAIL and the Bhilai Steel Plant in particular, and it should be ready to cater to the entire demand of the railways. The state-of-the-art Universal Rail Mill established at a cost of about Rs 1,200 crore has taken the facility’s capacity to produce rails to 2 million tonnes per annum, the highest in a single location anywhere in the world.
The PSU's sales volume for the quarter at 3.02 mt rose 9 percent from a year earlier, while while total income went up 26 percent to Rs 12,860 crore and net sales realisation expanded 14 percent. But an over two-fold rise in its coal bill dented the overall margin. 

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