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BW Businessworld

Caparo Group Gets Defensive, Denies Media Doubt

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Asserting that it has returned to profitability, the diversified conglomerate Caparo Group said on Monday it aims to rake in revenues of Rs 1,400 crore from India operations this year.

Founded by NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, the UK-based group has interest in steel and automotive industries, among others.

"In India alone, we will achieve a revenue of Rs 1,400 crore in 2010, rising to Rs 2,000 crore plus in 2011, slightly less than predicted, but I remain bullish that Rs 3,000 crore (revenues) will be achieved in 2012," Caparo Group CEO Angad Paul said in a statement.

The group companies in India include Caparo Maruti Ltd, a joint venture with India's largest carmaker Mauruti Suzuki.

Another group firm, Caparo Engineering India Pvt Ltd, has an engineering facility in Madhya Pradesh.

"Throughout the last 18 months, the company continued to enjoy the support of stakeholders, and I am pleased to say that we have now returned to profitability," he noted.

Reacting to British Daily Mail's report that Caparo's future is in doubt, Angad Paul asserted that "Caparo is alive and well."

"Let me assure all of our team, our customers and suppliers that we are on course and will continue to go from strength to strength," he added.

Angad Paul said that Caparo's 2008 accounts quoted in the report related only to certain of the group's UK subsidiaries.

The accounts for 2008 calendar year have been on public record since 2009 and are now ancient history, he pointed out.

"It is sad that this politically motivated article appeared in the financial pages of a newspaper...Anyone with genuine financial understanding would realise how far back in history these accounts are; when the company has been operating for a year and half since the date of these accounts, to suggest that this is something new or current is misleading at best," Caparo Chairman Lord Swraj Paul said.

Angad Paul noted that from August to December 2008, the financial sector suffered a "blood bath," which then led to the most rapid downturn in manufacturing industry.

"Indeed it is a credit to Caparo's management that we exited that year with a relatively small loss," he added.

Lord Swraj Paul said it (the article) was obviously timed to coincide with the family's annual party at London Zoo "which I am delighted to say went off very well with almost 1,500 guests enjoying the afternoon."