Malabar Cements plunges into loss after quarter century

KMML profit too declines substantially

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Malabar Cements Ltd (MCL), one of the most consistent profit generators among the public sector industrial entities in the state, is said to have plunged into loss after a gap of quarter of a century.

According to reliable sources, the company ended up the financial year 2018-19 with a loss of about Rs18 crore against a nominal profit of Rs3 crore the company reported for the previous year.

MCL had posted its previous annual loss sometime in the mid-90s. Sources said the slowdown that has broken the back of the construction industry in the state has taken a heavy toll on the bottom line of Malabar Cements, the state’s lone grey cement manufacturer, which is also considered to be one of best performers among state PSUs.

It is reliably learnt that the company was literally struggling to sell its product in the market and this was manifested by the 2018-19 sales turnover figure that has almost fallen to just over one-third of the previous year.

The financial year 2018-19 is said to have closed with an ominous note for the Kerala PSUs with the number of profit making industrial units having fallen drastically compared with that of the previous year.

Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML), the surest bet among public sector undertakings in the state, is said to have suffered heavily on the profit front during the said period due to the unavailability of Ilmenite, the company’s raw material, in sufficient quantities prompting the company to outsource the raw material sending the bottom line badly impacted.

Malabar Cements had chalked out ambitious plans to modernize its plants and substantially increase the capacity during last year.

The former MD of MCL, VB Ramachandran Nair , had told that MCL was working hard to see the company’s share in the state’s cement market go up from a sub-10 per cent to as high as 35 to 50 per cent once the expansion plans were through.

There were views expressed by the industry sources that the government could have promoted the MCL brand for public works – which would have given a sure leg-up to the company in terms of sales revenue.

While MCL’s Walayar plant has a capacity to produce 6.6 lakh tonne and the Chertala unit, another 2.2 lakh tonne annually, an earlier plan envisaged the production of its Walayar unit to reach one million leaving the Chertala unit to maintain the status quo on production volume.



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