Mumbai: JSW Steel Ltd, India’s biggest steelmaker by capacity, said its fourth-quarter profit more than tripled, helped by higher steel prices and output and government support for mills. The results are another sign of a marked pickup in the country’s steel sector, which had been hit by a global slowdown amid excess capacity. JSW said its outlook was improving.
“Steel demand is expected to benefit from rising infrastructure spend and improving consumer demand in FY2018,” JSW said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the Cabinet approved a proposal to make local steel mandatory in government infrastructure projects.
JSW reported a consolidated a net profit of Rs. 1,009 crore ($157 million) for January-March, against Rs. 301 crore a year ago.
That was well ahead of analysts’ forecast for a Rs. 776 crore profit, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Revenue from operations rose 52.5 per cent from a year earlier to Rs. 17,917 crore as the company ramped up production from newly built capacity at its flagship plant in the southern state of Karnataka.
JSW said operating profit jumped 64 per cent to Rs. 3,165 crore.
The slowdown in the steel sector prompted the government to step in last year to protect the domestic industry with import curbs and other measures.
($1 = Rs. 64.10)