Fertiliser major Tata Chemicals is considering a share buyback. "The board is meeting on August 13 to discuss the proposal," chairman Ratan Tata said at the company’s annual general meeting today. At present, the promoters hold 30.46 per cent in the company.
As part of its expansion, Tata said, the company will foray into new businesses but did not elaborate further.
Meanwhile, the company has posted a net profit of Rs 13.19 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2001, compared with a net loss of Rs 3.76 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2000.
Net Sales for the quarter was, however, lower at Rs 291.42 crore against Rs 326.5 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2000.
Sales income declined owing to lower soda production and sales after the March fire, and marginally lower urea sales due to sluggish market conditions.
The operating margin has, however, improved from 23 per cent last year to 28 per cent in the June quarter on the back of aggressive cost control measures.
The net profit for the quarter has been arrived after considering extraordinary expenses being employee separation compensation amounting to Rs 3.58 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2001 (Rs 3.23 crore in Q1 2000).
Interest Expenditure declined by 33.25 per cent from Rs 47 crore in Q1 2000 to Rs 31.37 crore in Q1 2001 by retiring high cost debt and tighter management of working capital and inventories.
Tata Chemicals is restructuring by divesting its non-core businesses — detergents and cement.
While the company has reached an understanding with Jyothi Laboratories for the detergent business, the 4.5 lakh tonne mini cement plant is unviable in an industry which is still consolidating.